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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) depicts neural activity in the brain indirectly by measuring blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals. The majority of fMRI studies have focused on detecting cortical activity in gray matter (GM), but whether functional BOLD signal changes also arise in white matter (WM), and whether neural activities trigger hemodynamic changes in WM similarly to GM, remain controversial, particularly in light of the much lower vascular density in WM. However, BOLD effects in WM are readily detected under hypercapnic challenges, and the number of reports supporting reliable detections of stimulus-induced activations in WM continues to grow. Rather than assume a particular hemodynamic response function, we used a voxel-by-voxel analysis of frequency spectra in WM to detect WM activations under visual stimulation, whose locations were validated with fiber tractography using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We demonstrate that specific WM regions are robustly activated in response to visual stimulation, and that regional distributions of WM activation are consistent with fiber pathways reconstructed using DTI. We further examined the variation in the concordance between WM activation and fiber density in groups of different sample sizes, and compared the signal profiles of BOLD time series between resting state and visual stimulation conditions in activated GM as well as activated and non-activated WM regions. Our findings confirm that BOLD signal variations in WM are modulated by neural activity and are detectable with conventional fMRI using appropriate methods, thus offering the potential of expanding functional connectivity measurements throughout the brain.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Although blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI has been widely used to map brain responses to external stimuli and to delineate functional circuits at rest, the extent to which BOLD signals correlate spatially with underlying neuronal activity, the spatial relationships between stimulus-evoked BOLD activations and local correlations of BOLD signals in a resting state, and whether these spatial relationships vary across functionally distinct cortical areas are not known. To address these critical questions, we directly compared the spatial extents of stimulated activations and the local profiles of intervoxel resting state correlations for both high-resolution BOLD at 9.4 T and local field potentials (LFPs), using 98-channel microelectrode arrays, in functionally distinct primary somatosensory areas 3b and 1 in nonhuman primates. Anatomic images of LFP and BOLD were coregistered within 0.10 mm accuracy. We found that the point spread functions (PSFs) of BOLD and LFP responses were comparable in the stimulus condition, and both estimates of activations were slightly more spatially constrained than local correlations at rest. The magnitudes of stimulus responses in area 3b were stronger than those in area 1 and extended in a medial to lateral direction. In addition, the reproducibility and stability of stimulus-evoked activation locations within and across both modalities were robust. Our work suggests that the intrinsic resolution of BOLD is not a limiting feature in practice and approaches the intrinsic precision achievable by multielectrode electrophysiology.
Aging is associated with marked deficiency in circulating IGF-1, which has been shown to contribute to age-related cognitive decline. Impairment of moment-to-moment adjustment of cerebral blood flow (CBF) via neurovascular coupling is thought to play a critical role in the genesis of age-related cognitive impairment. To establish the link between IGF-1 deficiency and cerebromicrovascular impairment, neurovascular coupling mechanisms were studied in a novel mouse model of IGF-1 deficiency (Igf1(f/f) -TBG-Cre-AAV8) and accelerated vascular aging. We found that IGF-1-deficient mice exhibit neurovascular uncoupling and show a deficit in hippocampal-dependent spatial memory test, mimicking the aging phenotype. IGF-1 deficiency significantly impaired cerebromicrovascular endothelial function decreasing NO mediation of neurovascular coupling. IGF-1 deficiency also impaired glutamate-mediated CBF responses, likely due to dysregulation of astrocytic expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors and impairing mediation of CBF responses by eicosanoid gliotransmitters. Collectively, we demonstrate that IGF-1 deficiency promotes cerebromicrovascular dysfunction and neurovascular uncoupling mimicking the aging phenotype, which are likely to contribute to cognitive impairment.
© 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.