We first evaluated the potential of ultrashort echo time magnetization transfer (UTE-MT) and MT imaging to generate high contrast images of the healthy mouse brain.
Next, we conducted a longitudinal study to examine the temporal changes of UTE-MT ratio (UTE-MTR) and MTR following cuprizone (CPZ)-mediated demyelination, gliosis, and remyelination. UTE-MTR detected CPZ-induced alterations in white matter, subcortical, and cortical grey matter during demyelination, and persistent tissue microstructure changes in grey matter. Furthermore, UTE-MTR changes correlated significantly with myelin levels.
Altogether, we showed that UTE-MT imaging holds great potential to improve characterization of brain lesions in MS at clinical field strength.