Synchrotron Radiation-Based Three-Dimensional Visualization of Angioarchitectural Remodeling in Hippocampus of Epileptic Rats

Pan Gu 1 • Zi-Hao Xu 1 • Yu-Ze Cao1 • Sheng-Hui Liao2 • Qian-Fang Deng 1 • Xian-Zhen Yin 3 • Zhuo-Lu Wang4 • Zhuo-Hui Chen1 • Xin-Hang Hu1 • Hui Wang1 • Li-Zhi Li1 • Shi-Xin Liu1 • Hui Ding1 • Shu-Peng Shi1 • Hong-Lei Li1 • Ti-Qiao Xiao5 • Bo Xiao1 • Meng-Qi Zhang 1

Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China

2 School of Information Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China

3 State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, CAS Key Laboratory of Receptor Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China4 Department of Breast Surgery, Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Changsha 410008, China

5 Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China


Characterizing the three-dimensional (3D) morphological alterations of microvessels under both normal and seizure conditions is crucial for a better understanding of epilepsy. However, conventional imaging techniques cannot detect microvessels on micron/sub-micron scales without angiography. In this study, synchrotron radiation (SR)-based X-ray in-line phase-contrast imaging (ILPCI) and quantitative 3D characterization were used to acquire high-resolution, high-contrast images of rat brain tissue under both normal and seizure conditions. The number of blood microvessels was markedly increased on days 1 and 14, but decreased on day 60 after seizures. The surface area, diameter distribution, mean tortuosity, and number of bifurcations and network segments also showed similar trends. These pathological changes were confirmed by histological tests. Thus, SR-based ILPCI provides systematic and detailed views of cerebrovascular anatomy at the micron level without using contrast-enhancing agents. This holds considerable promise for better diagnosis and understanding of the pathogenesis and development of epilepsy.


Epilepsy; Synchrotron radiation; 3D; Angioarchitecture; Blood vessel; Remodeling


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