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Neuroimage. 2018 May 15;172:562-574. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.02.002. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Somatosensory BOLD fMRI reveals close link between salient blood pressure changes and the murine neuromatrix.

Author information

1
Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany.
2
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany.
3
Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; Faculty of Medicine, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité - University Medicine, Berlin, Germany.
5
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany; Department of Endocrinology, Charité - University Medicine, Berlin, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site, Berlin, Germany.
6
Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany; Department of Endocrinology, Charité - University Medicine, Berlin, Germany; Experimental and Clinical Research Center, A Joint Cooperation Between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: thoralf.niendorf@mdc-berlin.de.

Abstract

The neuromatrix, or "pain matrix", is a network of cortical brain areas which is activated by noxious as well as salient somatosensory stimulation. This has been studied in mice and humans using blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI. Here we demonstrate that BOLD effects observed in the murine neuromatrix in response to salient somatosensory stimuli are prone to reflect mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) changes, rather than neural activity. We show that a standard electrostimulus typically used in murine somatosensory fMRI can induce substantial elevations in MABP. Equivalent drug-induced MABP changes - without somatosensory stimulation - evoked BOLD patterns in the neuromatrix strikingly similar to those evoked by electrostimulation. This constitutes a serious caveat for murine fMRI. The regional specificity of these BOLD patterns can be attributed to the co-localization of the neuromatrix with large draining veins. Based on these findings we propose a cardiovascular support mechanism whereby abrupt elevations in MABP provide additional energy supply to the neuromatrix and other essential brain areas in fight-or-flight situations.

KEYWORDS:

BOLD fMRI; Electrical stimulation; Mean arterial blood pressure; Mouse; Pain matrix; Pial veins; Somatosensation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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