High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging-based atlases for the young and adolescent domesticated pig (Sus scrofa)

Joanne E. Fil, Sangyun Joung, Benjamin J. Zimmerman, Bradley P. Sutton, Ryan N. Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Neurodevelopmental studies utilize the pig as a translational animal model due to anatomical and morphological similarities between the pig and human brain. However, neuroimaging resources are not as well developed for the pig as they are for humans and other animal models. We established a magnetic resonance imaging-based brain atlas at two different ages for biomedical studies utilizing the pig as a preclinical model. New Method: Twenty artificially-reared domesticated male pigs (Sus scrofa) and thirteen sow-reared adolescent domesticated male pigs (Sus scrofa) underwent a series of scans measuring brain macrostructure, microstructure, and arterial cerebral blood volume. Results: An atlas for the 4-week-old and 12-week-old pig were created along with twenty-six regions of interest. Normative data for brain measures were obtained and detailed descriptions of the data processing pipelines were provided. Comparison with Existing Method: Atlases at the two different ages were created for the pig utilizing newer imaging technology and software. This facilitates the performance of longitudinal studies and enables more precise volume measurements in pigs of various ages by appropriately representing the neuroanatomical features of younger and older pigs and accommodating the proportion differences of the brain over time. Conclusion: Two high-resolution MRI brain atlases specific to the domesticated young and adolescent pig were created using defined image acquisition and data processing methods to facilitate the generation of high-quality normative data for neurodevelopmental research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109107
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021


  • Biomedical
  • Brain atlas
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neuroimaging
  • Pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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