Longitudinal evaluation of myofiber microstructural changes in a preclinical ALS model using the transverse relaxivity at tracer equilibrium (TRATE): A preliminary study
T2⁎ relaxivity contrast imaging may serve as a potential imaging biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by noninvasively quantifying the tissue microstructure. In this preliminary longitudinal study, we investigated the Transverse Relaxivity at Tracer Equilibrium (TRATE) in three muscle groups between SOD1-G93A (ALS model) rat and a control population at two different timepoints. The control group was time matched to the ALS group such that the second timepoint was the onset of disease. We observed a statistically significant decrease in TRATE over time in the gastrocnemius, tibialis, and digital flexor muscles in the SOD1-G93A model (p-value = 0.003, 0.008, 0.005; respectively), whereas TRATE did not change over time in the control group (p-value = 0.4777, 0.6837, 0.9682; respectively). Immunofluorescent staining revealed a decrease in minimum fiber area and cell density in the SOD1-G93A model when compared to the control group (p-value = 6.043E-10 and 2.265E-10, respectively). These microstructural changes observed from histology align with the theorized biophysical properties of TRATE. We demonstrate that TRATE can longitudinally differentiate disease associated atrophy from healthy muscle and has potential to serve as a biomarker for disease progression and ultimately therapy response in patients with ALS.
ALS, MRI, Muscle imaging, Perfusion imaging, Relaxivity imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bell, Laura C.; Fuentes, Alberto E.; Healey, Deborah R.; Chao, Renee; Bakkar, Nadine; Sirianni, Rachael W.; Medina, David X.; Bowser, Robert P.; Ladha, Shafeeq S.; Semmineh, Natenael B.; Stokes, Ashley M.; and Quarles, C. Chad, "Longitudinal evaluation of myofiber microstructural changes in a preclinical ALS model using the transverse relaxivity at tracer equilibrium (TRATE): A preliminary study" (2022). Translational Neuroscience. 1191.