Caveolin-1 and caveolin-3 are expressed in the mammalian heart. Mice deficient in caveolin 1 or 3 exhibit cardiac abnormalities including left ventricular hypertrophy and reduced fractional shortening. Cardiac imaging technologies such as transthoracic echocardiography and cardiac-gated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are effective tools for the study of left ventricular morphology and function in mice; however, there has not been widespread use of these technologies in studies of right ventricular morphology. In particular, right ventricular wall thickness has been difficult to assess using cardiac imaging technologies. We report here the use of centerline analysis of cardiac-gated MR images to more accurately determine right ventricular wall thickness in the mouse heart. Right ventricular wall thickness was evaluated in Cav-1 null, Cav-3 null and Cav-1/3 null mice, as well as wild-type control mice. Using this technique, we find that caveolin null mice exhibit significant thickening of the right ventricular wall as compared with age-matched wild-type controls. Interestingly, right ventricular wall thickening is greatest in the Cav-1/3 null mice. Furthermore, significant right ventricular wall thickening is also seen in the Cav-1 null mice. Histological analyses revealed right ventricular hypertrophy consistent with the imaging results. These studies demonstrate the utility of MRI in determining right ventricular wall thickness and underscore the severity of the right ventricular hypertrophy in caveolin null mice.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Right ventricle