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J Biomed Opt. 2009 Jul-Aug;14(4):044038. doi: 10.1117/1.3210779.

Sensitivity of neural-hemodynamic coupling to alterations in cerebral blood flow during hypercapnia.

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh, Department of Radiology, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA. huppertt@upmc.edu

Abstract

The relationship between measurements of cerebral blood oxygenation and neuronal activity is highly complex and depends on both neurovascular and neurometabolic biological coupling. While measurements of blood oxygenation changes via optical and MRI techniques have been developed to map functional brain activity, there is evidence that the specific characteristics of these signals are sensitive to the underlying vascular physiology and structure of the brain. Since baseline blood flow and oxygen saturation may vary between sessions and across subjects, functional blood oxygenation changes may be a less reliable indicator of brain activity in comparison to blood flow and metabolic changes. In this work, we use a biomechanical model to examine the relationships between neural, vascular, metabolic, and hemodynamic responses to parametric whisker stimulation under both normal and hypercapnic conditions in a rat model. We find that the relationship between neural activity and oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin changes is sensitive to hypercapnia-induced changes in baseline cerebral blood flow. In contrast, the underlying relationships between evoked neural activity, blood flow, and model-estimated oxygen metabolism changes are unchanged by the hypercapnic challenge. We conclude that evoked changes in blood flow and cerebral oxygen metabolism are more closely associated with underlying evoked neuronal responses.

PMID:
19725749
PMCID:
PMC2774124
DOI:
10.1117/1.3210779
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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