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Abstract #1908

Probing Gq-GPCR Signaling in Rat Primary Motor Cortex with Pharmacogenetic fMRI

Manasmita Das 1 , Heather K Decot 1 , Yu-Chieh Kao 1 , Oyarzabal Esteban 1 , and Yen-Yu Ian Shih 1

1 Biomedical Research Imaging Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States

The advent of novel genetic tools has triggered a renaissance in neuroscience research, providing tremendous opportunities to study the neuronal correlates of complex brain function with high spatiotemporal control. This study offers the first, direct evidence of fMRI responses to pharmacogenetic activation of excitatory neurons in rat primary motor cortex (M1) using Gq-coupled Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated for Designer Drugs (DREADDs). This novel technology contributes a potent toolbox for noninvasive mapping of GPCR-mediated cell signaling in vivo, a critical insight of which is necessary to understand various physiological and molecular phenomena and thus broaden the range of new therapeutic interventions.

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