Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Rat Brain
Lu H, Gitajn L, Yang Y, Stein E, Rea W
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Resting-state fMRI can be used to reveal functional connectivity in the brain. While the technique has been successfully used in humans, fewer studies have been reported on animals, particularly rats. There are several challenges in the use of resting-state fMRI in animal studies, including uncertainty of anesthesia effects on the synchronized low-frequency fluctuations and potential confounds of faster cardiac pulsations, particularly in small animals like rats. In this study, we attempted to measure resting-state functional signals in rats anesthetized with alpha-chloralose and with injection of superparamagnetic contrast agent (ferumoxtran-10) for reducing signals contributed from blood.