The Western diet, causative in the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, has recently been associated with the development of diffuse white matter disease (WMD) and other subcortical changes. Yet, little is known about the pathophysiological mechanisms by which a high-fat diet can cause WMD. Mechanistic studies of deep brain regions in mice have been challenging due to a lack of non-invasive, high-resolution, and deep imaging technologies. Here we used Optical Coherence Tomography to study mouse cortical/subcortical structures noninvasively and in vivo. To better understand the role of Western Diet in the development of WMD, intensity and Doppler flow OCT images, obtained using a 1300 nm spectral / Fourier domain OCT system, were used to observe the structural and functional alterations in the cortex and corpus callosum of Western Diet and control diet mouse models. Specifically, we applied segmentation to the OCT images to identify the boundaries of the cortex/corpus callosum, and further quantify the layer thicknesses across animals between the two diet groups. Furthermore, microvasculature alterations such as changes in spatiotemporal flow profiles within diving arterioles, arteriole diameter, and collateral tortuosity were analyzed. In the current study, while the arteriole vessel diameters between the two diet groups was comparable, we show that collateral tortuosity was significantly higher in the Western diet group, compared to control diet group, possibly indicating remodeling of brain vasculature due to dietary changes. Moreover, there is evidence showing that the corpus callosum is thinner in Western diet mice, indicative of tissue atrophy.
Marcel T. Bernucci, Jennifer E. Norman, Conrad W. Merkle, Hnin H. Aung, Jennifer Rutkowsky, John C. Rutledge, and Vivek J. Srinivasan, "Assessing cortical and subcortical changes in a western diet mouse model using spectral/Fourier domain OCT (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10051, Neural Imaging and Sensing, 1005105 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251009.5371358613001.
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