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Abstract #4624

In vivo characterization of morphological changes in prenatally irradiated mice using MRI

Tine Verreet 1,2 , JanakiRaman Rangarajan 3,4 , Tom Dresselaers 5 , Frederik Maes 3 , Sarah Baatout 1 , Lieve Moons 2 , Mohammed Abderrafi Benotmane 1 , and Uwe Himmelreich 5

1 Radiobiology Unit, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK CEN, Mol, Belgium, 2 Laboratory of Neural Circuit Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Belgium, 3 ESAT/PSI - Medical Image Computing, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 4 iMinds-KU Leuven Future Health Department, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 5 Biomedical MRI unit, Department of Imaging and Pathology, KU Leuven, Belgium

Epidemiological studies have shown that in utero irradiation exposure causes a higher incidence of neurological disorders and cognitive defects like seizures and mental retardation (for e.g. survivors of the atomic bombings). There is renewed interests to investigate whether even low doses of radiation can cause long-term neurological defects. However, animal studies in this field are scarce and underpinning causes remain unclear. The main objective of this study is to characterize the morphological effects of in utero exposure to low and moderate doses of ionizing radiation on the mouse brain using in vivo MRI. Prenatally irradiated mice show reduction in brain volume at higher dose (0.66 Gy, 1 Gy), which is comparable to results from human studies. Morphological changes are in line with the cognitive function assessed by behavioral experiments.

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