An in vivo implementation of the MEX MRI for myelin fraction of mice brain

Ella Wilczynski, Efrat Sasson, Uzi Eliav, Gil Navon, Uri Nevo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Magnetization EXchange (MEX) sequence measures a signal linearly dependent on the myelin proton fraction by selective suppression of water magnetization and a recovery period. Varying the recovery period enables extraction of the percentile fraction of myelin bound protons. We aim to demonstrate the MEX sequence sensitivity to the fraction of protons associated with myelin in mice brain, in vivo. Methods: The cuprizone mouse model was used to manipulate the myelin content. Mice fed cuprizone (n = 15) and normal chow (n = 8) were imaged in vivo using MEX sequence. MR images were segmented into corpus callosum and internal capsule (white matter) and cortical gray matter, and fitted to the recovery equation. Results were analyzed with correlation to MWF and histopathology. Results: The extracted parameters show significant differences in the corpus callosum between the cuprizone and control groups. The cuprizone group exhibited reduced myelin fraction 26.5% (P < 0.01). The gray matter values were less affected, with 13.5% reduction (P < 0.05); no changes were detected in the internal capsule. Results were validated by MWF scans and good correlation to the histology analysis (R2 = 0.685). Conclusion: The results of this first in vivo implementation of the MEX sequence provide a quantitative measure of demyelination in brain white matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


FundersFunder number
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2013253
Israel Science Foundation1585/17


    • Cuprizone
    • MEX
    • Magnetization transfer
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Myelin


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