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Neuroimage. 2002 Jun;16(2):441-8.

Tracing odor-induced activation in the olfactory bulbs of mice using manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.

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Department of Biological Sciences and Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Research, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Ithas previously been demonstrated that it is possible to map active regions of the brain using MRI relying on the fact that Mn(2+) ion enters excitable cells through voltage-gated calcium channels and is an excellent relaxation agent. In addition, Mn(2+) has been shown to trace neuronal connections in the mouse olfactory and visual systems, enabling MRI neuronal tract tracing. The purpose of the present studies was to determine if these two properties could be combined to trace Mn(2+) from sites of activation in the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulb thereby localizing regions within the olfactory bulb that respond to a particular odor. Mice were exposed to an aerosolized solution containing either a high pheromone content odor (male mouse urine) or amyl acetate plus MnCl(2). In both cases the odors caused a localized T(1) MRI enhancement in the olfactory epithelium and bulb that was dependent upon the presence of Mn(2+). The high pheromone containing solution caused enhancement in the anatomically correct location of the accessory olfactory bulb. Amyl acetate also caused T(1)-weighted MRI enhancement in specific regions of the olfactory bulb. These areas showing activation agree well with previous 2-deoxyglucose and BOLD fMRI results in the rat. Using manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) it should be possible to rapidly map a variety of odors. Furthermore, since the effects of activation are imaged after the activation protocol it should be possible to take the time to obtain very high resolution images and make MEMRI maps from awake behaving animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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