Contrast-enhanced micro-CT approaches for visualizing musculoskeletal development in neonatal mice

dc.creatorStalls, Javanen_US
dc.creatorMiller, Courtneyen_US
dc.creatorGonzales, Laurenen_US
dc.creatorLesciotto, Kateen_US
dc.creatorHandler, Emmaen_US
dc.creatorOrgan, Jasonen_US
dc.creatorMenegaz, Rachel A.en_US
dc.creator.orcid0000-0003-0748-4290 (Miller, Courtney)
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-7261-7873 (Menegaz, Rachel)
dc.descriptionResearch Appreciation Day Award Winner - School of Biomedical Sciences, 2023 Department of Physiology & Anatomy-Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences Award - 1st Placeen_US
dc.description.abstractContrast-enhanced micro-CT approaches for visualizing musculoskeletal development in neonatal mice Javan A. Stalls, Courtney A. Miller, Jason M. Organ, Emma K. Handler, Lauren A. Gonzales, Kate M. Lesciotto, Rachel A. Menegaz Purpose: While there are many forms of radiological imaging that can be used to gather anatomical data from biological specimens, computed tomography (CT) imaging has been the gold standard for visualizing dense tissue, such as bone, with detailed resolution. However, this imaging modality is not well suited for soft tissues (muscle, brain, abdominal organs, cartilage, etc.) due to their decreased tissue density. The inability to distinguish between soft tissues in CT scans limits our ability to investigate the bone-muscle interactions known to stimulate and direct bone modeling during early postnatal development. The development of contrast-enhancing staining agents, capable of binding materials to increase their radiodensity, has allowed for more accurate and enhanced visualizations of less dense soft tissues, such as muscle and brain structures. Contrast agents such as iodine have differential affinities for the different soft tissues in the body allowing for easier visualization and segmentation of soft tissues in relation to the skeleton. Previous studies have used contrast-enhanced CT (CE-CT) scanning to analyze early development of mice from prenatal stages to postnatal day 7. However, additional CE-CT imaging during the first three postnatal weeks is needed to understand muscle-bone interactions during critical periods of behavioral development, such as suckling and weaning. The goal of this project is to develop a CE-CT protocol and corresponding anatomical atlas showing the development of skeletal and soft tissue structures in the crania of neonatal mice from birth to weaning. Methods: Neonatal and preweaning mice (B6C3Fe a/a-Col1a2OIM/J) were euthanized on day of birth (P0), postnatal day 7 (P7), and postnatal day 14 (P14). Ethanol-fixed tissues were submerged in 1.25% iodine in 70% ethanol (I2E) for 2-14 days, with the skin intact in order to preserve cutaneous musculature. Both pre-stained and post-stained tissues were scanned using a MRS CT-80 micro-CT machine (20 µm3 voxel resolution). Results: Preliminary CE-CT scans following 10 days in an iodine stain present improved visualization of soft tissue (brain structures, cranial muscles, salivary glands) when compared to the baseline bone CT scans. Conclusion: These scans will be used to develop 3D models of musculoskeletal ontogeny from birth-weaning, providing insights into this critical developmental period. The use of CT contrast agents such as iodine offers new opportunities to investigate the anatomical interactions of bone and muscle during early development, and can be applied to investigate models of both normal growth and pathological disorders affecting musculoskeletal growth.en_US
dc.titleContrast-enhanced micro-CT approaches for visualizing musculoskeletal development in neonatal miceen_US