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Background: The zona incerta (ZI) is a small structure in the deep brain first identified by Auguste Forel for which robust in vivo visualization has remained elusive. The increased inherent signal from ultra-high field (7-Tesla or greater; 7T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) presents an opportunity to see structures not previously visible. In this study, we investigated the possibility of using quantitative T1 mapping at 7T to visualize the ZI region. Methods: We recruited healthy participants (N=32) and patients being considered for deep brain stimulation therapy as part of a prospective imaging study at 7T. Computational methods were used to process and fuse images to produce a high-resolution group average from which ZI anatomy could be delineated. Results: We pooled 7T data using image fusion methods and found that the contrast from quantitative T1 mapping was strikingly similar to classic histological staining, permitting facile identification of the ZI and nearby structures in reference to conventional stereotactic atlases. Conclusions: Using computational neuroimaging techniques, we demonstrate for the first time that the ZI is visible in vivo. Furthermore, we determined that this nuclear region can be decoupled from surrounding fibre pathways. This work paves the way for more accurate patient-specific optimization of deep brain targets for neuromodulation.
Fe deficiency is relatively common in pregnancy and has both short- and long-term consequences. However, little is known about the effect on the metabolism of other micronutrients. A total of fifty-four female rats were fed control (50 mg Fe/kg) or Fe-deficient diets (7·5 mg/kg) before and during pregnancy. Maternal liver, placenta and fetal liver were collected at day 21 of pregnancy for Cu and Zn analysis and to measure expression of the major genes of Cu and Zn metabolism. Cu levels increased in the maternal liver (P=0·002) and placenta (P=0·018) of Fe-deficient rats. Zn increased (P<0·0001) and Cu decreased (P=0·006) in the fetal liver. Hepatic expression of the Cu chaperones antioxidant 1 Cu chaperone (P=0·042) and cytochrome c oxidase Cu chaperone (COX17, P=0·020) decreased in the Fe-deficient dams, while the expression of the genes of Zn metabolism was unaltered. In the placenta, Fe deficiency reduced the expression of the chaperone for superoxide dismutase 1, Cu chaperone for superoxide dismutase (P=0·030), ceruloplasmin (P=0·042) and Zn transport genes, ZRT/IRT-like protein 4 (ZIP4, P=0·047) and Zn transporter 1 (ZnT1, P=0·012). In fetal liver, Fe deficiency increased COX17 (P=0·020), ZRT/IRT-like protein 14 (P=0·036) and ZnT1 (P=0·0003) and decreased ZIP4 (P=0·004). The results demonstrate that Fe deficiency during pregnancy has opposite effects on Cu and Zn levels in the fetal liver. This may, in turn, alter metabolism of these nutrients, with consequences for development in the fetus and the neonate.
From Aztec accounts of hibernating hummingbirds to contemporary television spectaculars, human encounters with nature have long sparked wonder, curiosity and delight. Written by leading scholars, this richly illustrated volume offers a lively introduction to the history of natural history, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Covering an extraordinary range of topics, from curiosity cabinets and travelling menageries to modern seed banks and radio-tracked wildlife, this volume draws together the work of historians of science, of environment and of art, museum curators and literary scholars. The essays are framed by an introduction charting recent trends in the field and an epilogue outlining the prospects for the future. Accessible to newcomers and established specialists alike, Worlds of Natural History provides a much-needed perspective on current discussions of biodiversity and an enticing overview of an increasingly vital aspect of human history.