Scott C. Davis1, Lisa H. Treat, 12, Edgar Alfonso Romero-Sandoval2,3, Kimberley S. Samkoe1, Brian W. Pogue1, Joyce A. DeLeo2,3
1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, United States; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, United States; 3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, United States
Glial reactivity plays an important role in the biochemical processes associated with acute and chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, and multiple sclerosis. This study demonstrates the potential to image Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) expression in the brains of rats after peripheral nerve injury using MR-guided fluorescence molecular tomography (MRg-FMT). MRg-FMT images showed elevated GFAP expression in the brains of injured animals, indicating enhanced astrocytic reactivity as compared to control animals. Quantitative imaging of glial reactivity in vivo would be an important innovation for investigating and deploying new treatment strategies that target glial mechanisms.