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Abstract #1442

Quantitative in vivo MRI study of Dahl and Sprague-Dawley rat brains in response to salt loading

Kenneth W Fishbein1, Mikayla L Hall1, Mustapha Bouhrara1, Yulia Grigorova1, Jeffrey Long1, Christopher A Morrell1, Edward G Lakatta1, Peter Rapp1, Alexei Y Bagrov1, Richard G Spencer1, and Olga V Fedorova1

1National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, United States

Dahl salt-sensitive rats are a common preclinical model for hypertension. We compared brain morphology and MRI contrast parameters (T2, T2*, MTR and diffusion) in Dahl and Sprague-Dawley rats on low-salt and high-salt diets. Two of five Dahl rats on a high-salt diet exhibited stroke lesions on T2 and diffusion-weighted images. Dahl rats had smaller brain and hippocampus volumes and larger percent ventricular volume relative to Sprague-Dawley rats, regardless of diet. Dahl rats on the high-salt diet had thinner cortex, and longer T2 and shorter T2* in whole brain (excluding lesions and ventricles). Dahl rat brains therefore exhibit distinct morphological and contrast features on MRI, some of which are independent of salt loading.

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