Multiexponential T2 and magnetization transfer MRI of demyelination and remyelination in murine spinal cord

Cheryl R. McCreary, Thorarin A. Bjarnason, Viktor Skihar, J. Ross Mitchell, V. Wee Yong, Jeff F. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Identification of remyelination is important in the evaluation of potential treatments of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Local injection of lysolecithin into the brain or spinal cord provides a murine model of demyelination with spontaneous remyelination. The aim of this study was to determine if quantitative, multicomponent T2 (qT2) analysis and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR), both indicative of myelin content, could detect changes in myelination, particularly remyelination, of the cervical spinal cord in mice treated with lysolecithin. We found that the myelin water fraction and geometric mean T2 value of the intra/extracellular water significantly decreased at 14 days then returned to control levels by 28 days after injury, corresponding to clearance of myelin debris and remyelination which was shown by eriochrome cyanine and oil red O staining of histological sections. The MTR was significantly decreased 14 days after lysolecithin injection, and remained low over the time course studied. Evidence of demyelination shown by both qT2 and MTR lagged behind the histological evidence of demyelination. Myelin water fraction increased with remyelination, however MTR remained lower after 28 days. The difference between qT2 and MTR may identify early remyelination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1182
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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