Minocycline Effects on Intracerebral Hemorrhage-Induced Iron Overload in Aged Rats: Brain Iron Quantification With Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Background and Purpose—

Brain iron overload is a key factor causing brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). This study quantified brain iron levels after ICH with magnetic resonance imaging R2* mapping. The effect of minocycline on iron overload and ICH-induced brain injury in aged rats was also determined.


Aged (18 months old) male Fischer 344 rats had an intracerebral injection of autologous blood or saline, and brain iron levels were measured by magnetic resonance imaging R2* mapping. Some ICH rats were treated with minocycline or vehicle. The rats were euthanized at days 7 and 28 after ICH, and brains were used for immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses. Magnetic resonance imaging (T2-weighted, T2* gradient-echo, and R2* mapping) sequences were performed at different time points.


ICH-induced brain iron overload in the perihematomal area could be quantified by R2* mapping. Minocycline treatment reduced brain iron accumulation, T2* lesion volume, iron-handling protein upregulation, neuronal cell death, and neurological deficits (P<0.05).


Magnetic resonance imaging R2* mapping is a reliable and noninvasive method, which can quantitatively measure brain iron levels after ICH. Minocycline reduced ICH-related perihematomal iron accumulation and brain injury in aged rats.

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