Author(s): Kovacevi N, Henderson JT, Chan E, Lifshitz N, Bishop J,
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Abstract Although there is growing interest in finding mouse models of human disease, no technique for quickly and quantitatively determining anatomical mutants currently exists. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is ideally suited to probe fine structures in mice. This technology is three-dimensional, non-destructive and rapid compared to histopathology; hence MRI scientists have been able to create detailed three-dimensional images of 60 mum resolution or better. The data is digital which lends itself to sophisticated image processing algorithms. Here we show a variational MRI atlas constructed from nine excised brains of 8 week old 129S1/SvImJ male mice. This new type of atlas is comprised of an unbiased average brain--created from alignment of the individual brains--and the mathematical descriptors of anatomical variation across the individuals. We found that the majority of internal points in the individuals never varied more than 117 microm from equivalent points in the atlas. A three-dimensional annotation of the average image was performed and used to estimate the mean and standard deviation of volumes in a variety of structures across the individual brains; these volumes never differed by more than 5\%. Our results indicate that variational atlases of inbred strains represent a well-defined basis against which mutant outliers can be readily compared.
This article was published in Cereb Cortex
and referenced in Autism-Open Access