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Accurate estimates of the BOLD hemodynamic response function (HRF) are crucial for the interpretation and analysis of event-related functional MRI data. To date, however, there have been no comprehensive measurements of the HRF in white matter (WM) despite increasing evidence that BOLD signals in WM change after a stimulus. We performed an event-related cognitive task (Stroop color-word interference) to measure the HRF in selected human WM pathways. The task was chosen in order to produce robust, distributed centers of activity throughout the cortex. To measure the HRF in WM, fiber tracts were reconstructed between each pair of activated cortical areas. We observed clear task-specific HRFs with reduced magnitudes, delayed onsets and prolonged initial dips in WM tracts compared with activated grey matter, thus calling for significant changes to current standard models for accurately characterizing the HRFs in WM and for modifications of standard methods of analysis of functional imaging data.
Substance use may confound the study of brain structure in schizophrenia. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to examine whether differences in regional gray matter volumes exist between schizophrenia patients with (n = 92) and without (n = 66) clinically significant cannabis and/or alcohol use histories compared to 88 healthy control subjects. Relative to controls, patients with schizophrenia had reduced gray matter volume in the bilateral precentral gyrus, right medial frontal cortex, right visual cortex, right occipital pole, right thalamus, bilateral amygdala, and bilateral cerebellum regardless of substance use history. Within these regions, we found no volume differences between patients with schizophrenia and a history of cannabis and/or alcohol compared to patients with schizophrenia without a clinically significant substance use history. Our data support the idea that a clinically meaningful history of alcohol or cannabis use does not significantly compound the gray matter deficits associated with schizophrenia.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated cation (HCN) channels have important functions in controlling neuronal excitability and generating rhythmic oscillatory activity. The role of tetratricopeptide repeat-containing Rab8b-interacting protein (TRIP8b) in regulation of hyperpolarization-activated inward current, I , in the thalamocortical system and its functional relevance for the physiological thalamocortical oscillations were investigated. A significant decrease in I current density, in both thalamocortical relay (TC) and cortical pyramidal neurons was found in TRIP8b-deficient mice (TRIP8b). In addition basal cAMP levels in the brain were found to be decreased while the availability of the fast transient A-type K current, I , in TC neurons was increased. These changes were associated with alterations in intrinsic properties and firing patterns of TC neurons, as well as intrathalamic and thalamocortical network oscillations, revealing a significant increase in slow oscillations in the delta frequency range (0.5-4 Hz) during episodes of active-wakefulness. In addition, absence of TRIP8b suppresses the normal desynchronization response of the EEG during the switch from slow-wave sleep to wakefulness. It is concluded that TRIP8b is necessary for the modulation of physiological thalamocortical oscillations due to its direct effect on HCN channel expression in thalamus and cortex and that mechanisms related to reduced cAMP signaling may contribute to the present findings.
Vascular pathology is common in late-life depression, contributing to changes in cerebral function. We examined whether late-life depression was associated with differences in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and whether such differences were related to vascular risk and cerebrovascular pathology, specifically white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volumes. Twenty-three depressed elders and 20 age- and sex-matched elders with no psychiatric history completed cranial 3T MRI. MRI procedures included a pseudo-continuous Arterial Spin Labeling (pcASL) acquisition obtained while on room air and during a hypercapnia challenge allowing for calculation of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR). Brain segmentation identified frontal, temporal, parietal and cingulate sub-regions in which CBF and CVR were calculated. The depressed group exhibited an anterior-posterior gradient in CBF, with lower CBF throughout the frontal lobe but higher CBF in the parietal lobe, temporal lobe, thalamus and hippocampus. A similar anterior to posterior gradient was observed in the cingulate cortex, with anterior regions exhibiting lower CBF and posterior regions exhibiting higher CBF. We did not observe any group differences in CVR measures. We did not observe significant relationships between CBF and CVR with vascular risk or WMH volumes, aside from an isolated finding associating higher WMH volumes with lower CBF in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Decreased anterior CBF in depressed elders might reflect decreased metabolic activity in these regions, while increased posterior CBF may represent either compensatory processes or different activity of posterior intrinsic functional networks. Future work should examine how these findings are related to compensatory changes with aging.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
With the proliferation of multi-site neuroimaging studies, there is a greater need for handling non-biological variance introduced by differences in MRI scanners and acquisition protocols. Such unwanted sources of variation, which we refer to as "scanner effects", can hinder the detection of imaging features associated with clinical covariates of interest and cause spurious findings. In this paper, we investigate scanner effects in two large multi-site studies on cortical thickness measurements across a total of 11 scanners. We propose a set of tools for visualizing and identifying scanner effects that are generalizable to other modalities. We then propose to use ComBat, a technique adopted from the genomics literature and recently applied to diffusion tensor imaging data, to combine and harmonize cortical thickness values across scanners. We show that ComBat removes unwanted sources of scan variability while simultaneously increasing the power and reproducibility of subsequent statistical analyses. We also show that ComBat is useful for combining imaging data with the goal of studying life-span trajectories in the brain.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Activation of β-adrenergic receptors (βARs) enhances both the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells and hippocampal-dependent cognitive function. Interestingly, previous studies reveal that coincident activation of group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors with βARs in the hippocampal astrocytes induces a large increase in cyclic-AMP (cAMP) accumulation and release of adenosine. Adenosine then acts on A adenosine receptors at neighboring excitatory Schaffer collateral terminals, which could counteract effects of activation of neuronal βARs on excitatory transmission. On the basis of this, we postulated that activation of the specific mGlu receptor subtype that mediates this response could inhibit βAR-mediated effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Using novel mGlu receptor subtype-selective allosteric modulators along with knockout mice we now report that the effects of mGlu agonists on βAR-mediated increases in cAMP accumulation are exclusively mediated by mGlu. Furthermore, mGlu activation inhibits the ability of the βAR agonist isoproterenol to enhance hippocampal LTP, and this effect is absent in slices treated with either a glial toxin or an adenosine A receptor antagonist. Finally, systemic administration of the mGlu agonist LY379268 disrupted contextual fear memory in a manner similar to the effect of the βAR antagonist propranolol, and this effect was reversed by the mGlu-negative allosteric modulator VU0650786. Taken together, these data suggest that mGlu can influence astrocytic signaling and modulate βAR-mediated effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.
OBJECTIVE - Seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) disturb brain networks and lead to connectivity disturbances. We previously hypothesised that recurrent seizures in TLE may lead to abnormal connections involving subcortical activating structures including the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), contributing to neocortical dysfunction and neurocognitive impairments. However, no studies of ARAS connectivity have been previously reported in patients with epilepsy.
METHODS - We used resting-state functional MRI recordings in 27 patients with TLE (67% right sided) and 27 matched controls to examine functional connectivity (partial correlation) between eight brainstem ARAS structures and 105 cortical/subcortical regions. ARAS nuclei included: cuneiform/subcuneiform, dorsal raphe, locus coeruleus, median raphe, parabrachial complex, pontine oralis, pedunculopontine and ventral tegmental area. Connectivity patterns were related to disease and neuropsychological parameters.
RESULTS - In control subjects, regions showing highest connectivity to ARAS structures included limbic structures, thalamus and certain neocortical areas, which is consistent with prior studies of ARAS projections. Overall, ARAS connectivity was significantly lower in patients with TLE than controls (p<0.05, paired t-test), particularly to neocortical regions including insular, lateral frontal, posterior temporal and opercular cortex. Diminished ARAS connectivity to these regions was related to increased frequency of consciousness-impairing seizures (p<0.01, Pearson's correlation) and was associated with impairments in verbal IQ, attention, executive function, language and visuospatial memory on neuropsychological evaluation (p<0.05, Spearman's rho or Kendell's tau-b).
CONCLUSIONS - Recurrent seizures in TLE are associated with disturbances in ARAS connectivity, which are part of the widespread network dysfunction that may be related to neurocognitive problems in this devastating disorder.
© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
BACKGROUND - PD patients treated with dopamine therapy can develop maladaptive impulsive and compulsive behaviors, manifesting as repetitive participation in reward-driven activities. This behavioral phenotype implicates aberrant mesocorticolimbic network function, a concept supported by past literature. However, no study has investigated the acute hemodynamic response to dopamine agonists in this subpopulation.
OBJECTIVES - We tested the hypothesis that dopamine agonists differentially alter mesocortical and mesolimbic network activity in patients with impulsive-compulsive behaviors.
METHODS - Dopamine agonist effects on neuronal metabolism were quantified using arterial-spin-labeling MRI measures of cerebral blood flow in the on-dopamine agonist and off-dopamine states. The within-subject design included 34 PD patients, 17 with active impulsive compulsive behavior symptoms, matched for age, sex, disease duration, and PD severity.
RESULTS - Patients with impulsive-compulsive behaviors have a significant increase in ventral striatal cerebral blood flow in response to dopamine agonists. Across all patients, ventral striatal cerebral blood flow on-dopamine agonist is significantly correlated with impulsive-compulsive behavior severity (Questionnaire for Impulsive Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease- Rating Scale). Voxel-wise analysis of dopamine agonist-induced cerebral blood flow revealed group differences in mesocortical (ventromedial prefrontal cortex; insular cortex), mesolimbic (ventral striatum), and midbrain (SN; periaqueductal gray) regions.
CONCLUSIONS - These results indicate that dopamine agonist therapy can augment mesocorticolimbic and striato-nigro-striatal network activity in patients susceptible to impulsive-compulsive behaviors. Our findings reinforce a wider literature linking studies of maladaptive behaviors to mesocorticolimbic networks and extend our understanding of biological mechanisms of impulsive compulsive behaviors in PD. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
© 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
OBJECTIVE - Because the d-2-hydroxyglutarate (D2HG) product of mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) is released by tumor cells into the microenvironment and is structurally similar to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, we sought to determine whether IDH1 increases the risk of seizures in patients with glioma, and whether D2HG increases the electrical activity of neurons.
METHODS - Three WHO grade II-IV glioma cohorts from separate institutions (total N = 712) were retrospectively assessed for the presence of preoperative seizures and tumor location, WHO grade, 1p/19q codeletion, and IDH1 status. Rat cortical neurons were grown on microelectrode arrays, and their electrical activity was measured before and after treatment with exogenous D2HG, in the presence or absence of the selective NMDA antagonist, AP5.
RESULTS - Preoperative seizures were observed in 18%-34% of IDH1 wild-type (IDH1) patients and in 59%-74% of IDH1 patients ( < 0.001). Multivariable analysis, including WHO grade, 1p/19q codeletion, and temporal lobe location, showed that IDH1 was an independent correlate with seizures (odds ratio 2.5, 95% confidence interval 1.6-3.9, < 0.001). Exogenous D2HG increased the firing rate of cultured rat cortical neurons 4- to 6-fold, but was completely blocked by AP5.
CONCLUSIONS - The D2HG product of IDH1 may increase neuronal activity by mimicking the activity of glutamate on the NMDA receptor, and IDH1 gliomas are more likely to cause seizures in patients. This has rapid translational implications for the personalized management of tumor-associated epilepsy, as targeted IDH1 inhibitors may improve antiepileptic therapy in patients with IDH1 gliomas.
© 2017 American Academy of Neurology.
Voltage-gated Ca1.2 and Ca1.3 (L-type) Ca channels regulate neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory. Densin-180 (densin) is an excitatory synaptic protein that promotes Ca-dependent facilitation of voltage-gated Ca1.3 Ca channels in transfected cells. Mice lacking densin (densin KO) exhibit defects in synaptic plasticity, spatial memory, and increased anxiety-related behaviors-phenotypes that more closely match those in mice lacking Ca1.2 than Ca1.3. Therefore, we investigated the functional impact of densin on Ca1.2. We report that densin is an essential regulator of Ca1.2 in neurons, but has distinct modulatory effects compared with its regulation of Ca1.3. Densin binds to the N-terminal domain of Ca1.2, but not that of Ca1.3, and increases Ca1.2 currents in transfected cells and in neurons. In transfected cells, densin accelerates the forward trafficking of Ca1.2 channels without affecting their endocytosis. Consistent with a role for densin in increasing the number of postsynaptic Ca1.2 channels, overexpression of densin increases the clustering of Ca1.2 in dendrites of hippocampal neurons in culture. Compared with wild-type mice, the cell surface levels of Ca1.2 in the brain, as well as Ca1.2 current density and signaling to the nucleus, are reduced in neurons from densin KO mice. We conclude that densin is an essential regulator of neuronal Ca1 channels and ensures efficient Ca1.2 Ca signaling at excitatory synapses. The number and localization of voltage-gated Ca Ca channels are crucial determinants of neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. We report that the protein densin-180 is highly enriched at excitatory synapses in the brain and enhances the cell surface trafficking and postsynaptic localization of Ca1.2 L-type Ca channels in neurons. This interaction promotes coupling of Ca1.2 channels to activity-dependent gene transcription. Our results reveal a mechanism that may contribute to the roles of Ca1.2 in regulating cognition and mood.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/374679-13$15.00/0.