Pharmacological MRI combined with DREADD-technology enables detection of induced brain activity in projections relevant for feeding behavior
Tessa J.M. Roelofs1,2, Geralda A.F. van Tilborg1, Mieneke C.M. Luijendijk2, Roger A.H. Adan2, and Rick M. Dijkhuizen1
1Biomedical MR Imaging and Spectroscopy Group, Center for Image Sciences, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2Translational Neurosciences, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
With the aim to develop a novel MRI-based approach for
detection of activation in neuronal networks associated with feeding behavior
in a rat model, we evaluated the potential of pharmacological MRI (phMRI) to
detect DREADD (Designer Receptor
Exclusively Activated by Designer Drug)-evoked neuronal activity. BOLD phMRI
was conducted under 1.5% isoflurane anesthesia at 9.4T. Pharmacological
activation induced a significant BOLD response in DREADD-targeted areas, which was
confirmed by cFos-based immunohistochemistry of neuronal activation. Our study
shows that phMRI allows detection of specific DREADD-evoked neuronal activity,
providing exciting opportunities to assess network activity in association with
feeding-related behavioral phenotypes.
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