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Abstract #0992

MRI of Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Disruption in Mice with Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

Schellenberg A, Yong V, Peeling J, Del Bigio M, Buist R
University of Manitoba

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model of demyelinating disease that exhibits cellular infiltration and a breakdown in the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSB) in mice. Contrast-enhanced MR images were acquired to detect BSB disruption in the spinal cord of C57BL/6 mice at the onset of EAE disease signs, peak disease, and remission. Mice were sacrificed following imaging and the spinal cords were assessed in situ for general features of inflammation (Hematoxylin and Eosin), BSB leak (IgG), and activated macrophages/microglia (GS lectin). Spinal cord enhancement was greatest at the onset of disease signs which corresponded to foci of dense infiltrates at the periphery of the spinal cord.