BOLD and blood volume-weighted fMRI of rat lumbar spinal cord during non-noxious and noxious electrical hindpaw stimulation.
ABSTRACT Spinal cord fMRI is a useful tool for studying spinal mechanisms of pain, hence for analgesic drug development. Its technical feasibility in both humans and rats has been demonstrated. This study investigates the reproducibility, robustness, and spatial accuracy of fMRI of lumbar spinal cord activation due to transcutaneous noxious and non-noxious electrical stimulation of the hindpaw in alpha-chloralose-anesthetized rats. Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) and blood volume-weighted fMRI data were acquired without and with intravenous injection of ultra small superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (USPIO), respectively, using a gradient echo (GE) echo planar imaging (EPI) technique at 4.7 T. Neuronal activation in the spinal cord induced by noxious stimulation to the hindpaw (2 ms wide, 5 mA amplitude, known to activate C-fibers) can be robustly detected by both fMRI techniques with excellent reproducibility and peaked at the stimulus frequency of 40 Hz. However, both fMRI techniques were not sensitive to neuronal activation in spinal cord induced by non-noxious stimulation (0.3 ms, 1.5 mA, known only to activate A-fibers). Spatially, the fMRI signal extended approximately 5 mm in the longitudinal direction, covering L(3)-L(5) segments. In the cross-sectional direction, the highest signal change of blood volume-weighted fMRI was in the middle of the ipsilateral dorsal horn, which roughly corresponds to laminae V and VI, while the highest signal change of BOLD fMRI was in the ipsilateral dorsal surface. This study demonstrates that spinal cord fMRI can be performed in anesthetized rats reliably and reproducibly offering it as a potential tool for analgesic drug discovery.
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ABSTRACT: Electrical stimulation of the proximal stump of the transected sciatic nerve produces a frequency-dependent activation of glucose utilization, measured with the autoradiographic deoxy [14C]glucose method, in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord but produces no change in glucose utilization in the dorsal root ganglion cells. These results suggest that axon terminals and not the cell bodies are the sites of enhanced metabolic activity during increased functional activity of this pathway.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/1985; 82(17):6010-3. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to test at which levels of the neuroaxis signals are elicited when different modalities of sensory information from the limbs ascend to cortex cerebri. We applied graded electric stimuli to the rat hindlimbs and used echo-planar imaging to monitor activity changes in the lumbar spinal cord and medulla oblongata, where primary afferents of painful and nonpainful sensation synapse, respectively. BOLD signals were detected in ipsilateral lumbar spinal cord gray matter using sufficiently strong stimuli. Using stimuli well below the threshold needed for signals to be elicited in the spinal cord, we found BOLD responses in dorsal medulla oblongata. The distribution of these signals is compatible with the neuroanatomy of the respective synaptic relay stations of the corresponding sensory pathways. Hence, the sensory pathways conducting painful and nonpainful information were successfully distinguished. The fMRI signals in the spinal cord were markedly decreased by morphine, and these effects were counteracted by naloxone. We conclude that fMRI can be used as a reliable and valid method to monitor neuronal activity in the rat spinal cord and medulla oblongata in response to sensory stimuli. Previously, we also documented BOLD signals from thalamus and cortex. Thus, BOLD responses can be elicited at all principal synaptic relay stations along the neuroaxis from lumbar spinal cord to sensory cortex. Rat spinal cord fMRI should become a useful tool in experimental spinal cord injury and pain research.Journal of Neuroscience 07/2006; 26(23):6330-6. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast mechanism can be modeled as a complex interplay between CBF, cerebral blood volume (CBV), and CMRO2. Positive BOLD signal changes are presumably caused by CBF changes in excess of increases in CMRO2. Because this uncoupling between CBF and CMRO2 may not always be present, the magnitude of BOLD changes may not be a good index of CBF changes. In this study, the relation between BOLD and CBF was investigated further. Continuous arterial spin labeling was combined with a single-shot, multislice echo-planar imaging to enable simultaneous measurements of BOLD and CBF changes in a well-established model of functional brain activation, the electrical forepaw stimulation of alpha-chloralose-anesthetized rats. The paradigm consisted of two 18- to 30-second stimulation periods separated by a 1-minute resting interval. Stimulation parameters were optimized by laser Doppler flowmetry. For the same cross-correlation threshold, the BOLD and CBF active maps were centered within the size of one pixel (470 microm). However, the BOLD map was significantly larger than the CBF map. Measurements taken from 15 rats at 9.4 T using a 10-millisecond echo-time showed 3.7 +/- 1.7% BOLD and 125.67 +/- 81.7% CBF increases in the contralateral somatosensory cortex during the first stimulation, and 2.6 +/- 1.2% BOLD and 79.3 +/- 43.6% CBF increases during the second stimulation. The correlation coefficient between BOLD and CBF changes was 0.89. The overall temporal correlation coefficient between BOLD and CBF time-courses was 0.97. These results show that under the experimental conditions of the current study, the BOLD signal changes follow the changes in CBF.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 09/1999; 19(8):871-9. · 5.40 Impact Factor