Mingqiang Xie1, Regina C. Armstrong2, Anne H. Cross3, Sheng-Kwei Song4
1Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis , MO, USA; 2Anatomy, Physiology, and Genetics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA; 3Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA; 4Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA
Selective vulnerability of subpopulations of neurons or glia is well documented in many neurological diseases. However, selective axonal vulnerability is not as well characterized. In the current study, axial diffusivity derived using DTI was used to evaluate cerebral white matter of YFP mice fed cuprizone for 4 weeks. Rostral external capsule (EC) exhibited a decreased axial diffusivity, axonal beading, and YFP loss. In contrast, the directly adjacent rostral corpus callosum (CC) was not yet significantly affected. These DTI findings were validated by the YFP imaging, suggesting that decreased axial diffusivity is a sensitive biomarker for non-invasively detecting vulnerable white matter tracts.