scholarly journals Can Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST MRI) be used as biomarker of disease progression in Prion Disease?

2021 ◽  
Eleni Demetriou ◽  
Mohamed Tachrount ◽  
Matthew Ellis ◽  
Jacqueline Linehan ◽  
Sebastian Brandner ◽  

Human prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that may have prolonged asymptomatic incubation periods. However, the underlying mechanism by which prions cause brain damage remains unclear. In turn, characterization of early pathological aspects would be of benefit for the diagnosis and potential treatment of these progressive neurodegenerative disorders. We investigated chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI based on its exquisite sensitivity to cytosol protein content as a surrogate for prion disease pathology. Three groups of prion-infected mice at different stages of the disease underwent conventional magnetic resonance imaging and CEST MRI at 9.4T. For each mouse, chemical exchange contrasts were measured by applying five RF powers at various frequency offsets using magnetization transfer asymmetries. Relayed Nuclear Overhauser effects (NOE*) and amide proton transfer (APT*) were also assessed. For comparison, CEST MRI measurements were also made in healthy control mice brains. Here we show that alterations in CEST signal were detected before structural modifications or any clinical signs of prion disease. The detected CEST signal displayed different patterns at different stages of the disease indicating its potential for use as a longitudinal marker of disease progression. Highly significant correlations were found between CEST metrics and histopathological findings. A decline in NOE signal was positively correlated with abnormal prion protein deposition (R2 = 0.91) in the thalami of prion infected mice. Moreover, the NOE signal was negatively correlated with astrogliosis (R2 = 0.71) in the thalamus. No significant correlations were detected between NOE signals and spongiosis. MTR asymmetry at 3.5 ppm was also correlated with astrogliosis (R2 = 0.59), and prion protein deposition (R2 = 0.63) in thalamus. No significant changes were detected in APT* between prion-infected and control mice at all stages of the disease. Finally, MTR asymmetry between 2.8 and 3.2 ppm was correlated with prion protein deposition (R2 = 0.47) in the thalamus of prion -infected mice. To conclude, CEST MRI has potential utility as a biomarker of neurodegenerative processes in prion disease

2017 ◽  
Vol 79 (3) ◽  
pp. 1553-1558 ◽  
Yin Wu ◽  
Iris Y. Zhou ◽  
Takahiro Igarashi ◽  
Dario L. Longo ◽  
Silvio Aime ◽  

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