Investigation of the subcellular architecture of L7 neurons of Aplysia californica using magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) at 7.8 microns. Lee CH, Flint JJ, Hansen B, Blackband SJ. Sci Rep 2015; 5:11147.
Magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) is a non-invasive diagnostic tool which is well-suited to directly resolve cellular structures in ex vivo and in vitro tissues without use of exogenous contrast agents. Recent advances in its capability to visualize mammalian cellular structure in intact tissues have reinvigorated analytical interest in aquatic cell models whose previous findings warrant up-to-date validation of subcellular components. Even if the sensitivity of MRM is less than other microscopic technologies, its strength lies in that it relies on the same image contrast mechanisms as clinical MRI which make it a unique tool for improving our ability to interpret human diagnostic imaging through high resolution studies of well-controlled biological model systems. Here, we investigate the subcellular MR signal characteristics of isolated cells of Aplysia californica at an in-plane resolution of 7.8 μm. In addition, direct correlation and positive identification of subcellular architecture in the cells is achieved through well-established histology. We hope this methodology will serve as the groundwork for studying pathophysiological changes through perturbation studies and allow for development of disease-specific cellular modeling tools. Such an approach promises to reveal the MR contrast changes underlying cellular mechanisms in various human diseases, for example in ischemic stroke.