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Abstract #1061

MRI of Focal EAE Progression in a Rat Model Following VEGF-Induced Opening of the Blood Brain Barrier

Jasper Chen1, 2, Melina Jones3, Miroslaw Janowski2, 4, Jiadi Xu5, Michael Levy3, Jeff W.M. Bulte1, 2, Piotr Walczak1, 2

1Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Division of MR Research, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Cell Imaging Section, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 3Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 4NeuroRepair Department, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland; 5F. M. Kirby Research Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States

Rodent models of multiple sclerosis (MS) are characterized by brainstem and spinal cord lesions contrary to cerebral lesions in clinical MS. Disseminated lesions complicate evaluation of therapeutic strategies. We report a new model with reduced variability, temporal control of lesion initiation, and stereotaxic targeting of cerebral white matter. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injection effectively opened the blood brain barrier (BBB), initiating lesion formation in rats immunized against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein. BBB permeabilization, inflammation, and demyelination were monitored by MRI and verified histologically, demonstrating a focal lesion that resolved 2 weeks after initiation.