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Abstract #1887

Quantification of 3D T2*-Weighted MR Images Allows Evaluation of Different Viral Vectors for Stable MR Reporter Gene Expression in the Rodent Brain

Greetje Vande Velde1, Janaki Raman Rangarajan2, Tom Dresselaers1, Jaan Toelen3, Zeger Debyser3, Veerle Baekelandt3, Uwe Himmelreich1

1Biomedical NMR unit/MoSAIC, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Flanders, Belgium; 2Medical Imaging Research Center/MoSAIC, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Flanders, Belgium; 3Molecular Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Flanders, Belgium

Utilizing lentiviral (LV) and adeno-associated (AAV) viral vector systems for delivering MRI reporter genes (e.g. ferritin) will allow stable labeling and in vivo visualization of marked cells, but their potential limitations for MRI are often insufficiently addressed. LV injection resulted in hypointense contrast at the injection site on T2*-weighted MRI, partially explained by an immune response. Contrasting with LV, AAV injection resulted in little background contrast and AAV-mediated MRI reporter overexpression resulted in significant contrast-to-background on T2*-weighted MRI. We developed an image analysis pipeline that permits to quantitatively compare the hypointense contrast parameters of timeline scans or different experimental groups.