Peng Cao1, 2, Zhongwei Qiao1, 2, Anna M. Wang1, 2, Shujuan Fan1, 2, Victor B. Xie1, 2, Jian Yang1, 3, Ed X. Wu1, 2
1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; 3Medical Imaging Center of the First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shanxi Province, China
Biophysical properties of intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) such as droplet size may reflect the balance between droplet synthesis and degradation. In this study, we hypothesized that characterizing the restricted diffusion of IMCL protons could serve as a sensitive marker for monitoring IMCL droplet dynamics during metabolic intervention/abnormality. Our experimental results demonstrated that in vivo IMCL diffusion characteristics are sensitive to metabolic manipulation by fasting. During the 60-hr fasting, IMCL level increased but exhibited more restricted diffusion, largely in agreement with our histological observation of more droplets but of smaller sizes. Such IMCL diffusion characterization may serve as a sensitive marker to probe the IMCL droplet dynamics in vivo.