In in vivo experimental medicine, the ultimate goals of life science are the elucidation of biological functions of humans and triumph over disease. For these goals, we have been developing fundamental technologies over many years. Live Imaging Center performs in vivo imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), micro X-ray CT, and two-photon microscopes, in vivo fluorescence imaging. It is a strong approach for the 3Rs, Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement, contributing to laboratory animal science, as they can observe temporal changes noninvasively. In addition, it also allows POC studies in animal models and drug efficacy evaluation, enabling rapid translational researches. Live Imaging Center welcomes requests of collaborative researches, consigned analyses, and technical guidance using the most-advanced research equipment. If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.
MRI and CT, with which non-invasive and repeated measurements are possible, are powerful tools for elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms of disease model animals and evaluating of therapeutic effects. Thus, CIEA introduced the 7-Tesla MRI system and the micro X-ray CT in its collaborative research with Keio University School of Medicine. We have conducted image analyses in small laboratory animals such as mice, rats, naked mole rats, and common marmosets. Optimization of imaging procedures, development of animal beds, and careful monitoring and control of physiological states during imaging make highly reproducible measurements possible. In addition, we have taken initiatives in developing and building infrastructure of advanced MR neuroimaging techniques such as brain morphology analysis (Voxel-based morphometry; VBM)1,4 and brain function imaging (functional MRI, resting state fMRI) 2. Mouse and marmoset MRI brain templates developed here is available for conducting these analysis.
MRI Templates for In vivo Mouse Brain (tissue probability map: TPM)1
C57Bl/6, BALB/cBy, C3H/He, and DBA/2 mice http://www.nitrc.org/projects/tpm_mouse MRI templates for In vivo Common Marmoset brain9 http://brainatlas.brain.riken.jp/marmoset/
In order to elucidate biological phenomena and pathological conditions from the brain tissue-scale to the cell-scale we use two-photon microscopes that enable observation of deep areas of animal tissues in micrometer order (1/1,000,000 meter), or macro-fluorescence microscopes that enable comprehensive observation in millimeter order. We have succeeded in observing neural activities of the common marmoset in awake state, a small primate species, the first in the world, using restraint equipment and training methods uniquely developed in our collaborative research with the Developmental Neurobiology Team of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute.
To date, researches on neurological and psychiatric diseases have been conducted mainly in mice, but due to differences in brain structure between humans and mice as well as higher brain functions in humans, researches to be conducted on primates have been expected. Utilization of this technology is expected to shed new light on researches on neurological and psychiatric diseases in humans.