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Imaging of an Inflammatory Injury in the Newborn Rat Brain with Photoacoustic Tomography

Edgar Guevara, Romain Berti, Irène Londono, Ningshi Xie, Pierre Bellec, Frédéric Lesage, G a Lodygensky
PLoS ONE2013
BACKGROUND: The precise assessment of cerebral saturation changes during an inflammatory injury in the developing brain, such as seen in periventricular leukomalacia, is not well defined. This study investigated the impact of inflammation on locoregional cerebral oxygen saturation in a newborn rodent model using photoacoustic imaging. METHODS: 1 mg/kg of lipopolysaccharide(LPS) diluted in saline or saline alone was injected under ultrasound guidance directly in the corpus callosum of P3 rat pups. Coronal photoacoustic images were carried out 24 h after LPS exposure. Locoregional oxygen saturation (SO2) and resting state connectivity were assessed in the cortex and the corpus callosum. Microvasculature was then evaluated on cryosection slices by lectin histochemistry. RESULTS: Significant reduction of SO2 was found in the corpus callosum; reduced SO2 was also found in the cortex ipsilateral to the injection site. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis showed that bilateral connectivity was not affected by LPS exposure. Changes in locoregional oxygen saturation were accompanied by a significant reduction in the average length of microvessels in the left cortex but no differences were observed in the corpus callosum. CONCLUSION: Inflammation in the developing brain induces marked reduction of locoregional oxygen saturation, predominantly in the white matter not explained by microvascular degeneration. The ability to examine regional saturation offers a new way to monitor injury and understand physiological disturbance non-invasively.
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