Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy of a Mouse Model of Niemann Pick Type C1 Disease
AdvisorTrouard, Theodore P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractNiemann Pick Type C (NPC) disease is a rare genetic disease which is most often diagnosed in children, causes tragic irreversible neurologic deterioration, and is universally fatal. Many therapies and treatments are in development and would benefit from improved methods of assessing disease progression and treatment response. A large amount of NPC research is carried out in animal models such as the Npc1^(-/-) mouse model of the most common type of NPC disease, NPC1. This dissertation investigates three methods of noninvasive assessments of disease state in the Npc1^(-/-) mouse model with the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).MRI and MRS provide safe and widely available methods of measuring and visualizing internal tissue characteristics, suitable for longitudinal studies of disease progression and response to therapy. In this work, disease-associated dysmyelination of white matter tracts in the brain of Npc1^(-/-) mice was quantitatively measured at multiple time points with MRI methods of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and T2-mapping. These quantitative in vivo measures of disease status show promise as biomarkers for use in future studies of disease progression and treatment response in NPC disease models. High resolution MRI data was also collected and analyzed at multiple time points to quantify differences in both global and regional brain volumes in the Npc1^(-/-) mice as brain atrophy develops with disease progression. MRS was utilized to quantitatively examine changes in brain metabolite levels previously reported in clinical NPC disease studies. The results of the MRI and MRS studies in the Npc1^(-/-) mouse model demonstrate the ability to quantify changes in the brain due to neurodegeneration at multiple time points along the progression of neurological Npc1^(-/-) disease. MRI methods of quantifying white matter pathology with currently available DTI and T2-mapping techniques appear to be promising in vivo biomarkers of disease in the brain for future studies, while quantification of volumetric changes due to brain atrophy currently shows changes only at later disease stages. In vivo MRS with currently available methodology provides insight into the neurodegenerative disease pathology in the Npc1^(-/-) mouse but appears to lack sensitivity as a biomarker.
Degree ProgramGraduate College