Kajo van Der Marel1, Liesbeth Reneman2, Rick M. Dijkhuizen1
1Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 2Department of Radiology, Academical Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Early dopaminergic dysfunction during sensitive periods of brain development has been associated with altered corticostriatal processing, which is implicated in neuropsychiatric conditions such as ADHD and schizophrenia. Neuroimaging has revealed age-dependent responses to dopaminergic psychostimulation. To study the effects of brain development on baseline corticostriatal function, we applied resting-state fMRI functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis and pharmacological MRI (phMRI) in adolescent and adult rats. PhMRI confirmed lower D-amphetamine evoked responses during adolescence, while RSFC revealed increased neural synchrony between bilateral caudate-putamen in adults. This demonstrates that combined phMRI and RSFC may provide complementary insights into the ontogeny of brain dopamine systems.