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NMR Biomed. 2015 Nov;28(11):1579-88. doi: 10.1002/nbm.3421. Epub 2015 Oct 6.

Role of mitochondrial calcium uptake homeostasis in resting state fMRI brain networks.

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Department of Radiology, RUTGERS-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Core Center for Quantitative Neuroscience with Magnetic Resonance (QNMR), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake influences both brain energy metabolism and neural signaling. Given that brain mitochondrial organelles are distributed in relation to vascular density, which varies considerably across brain regions, we hypothesized different physiological impacts of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake across brain regions. We tested the hypothesis by monitoring brain "intrinsic activity" derived from the resting state functional MRI (fMRI) blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fluctuations in different functional networks spanning the somatosensory cortex, caudate putamen, hippocampus and thalamus, in normal and perturbed mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake states. In anesthetized rats at 11.7 T, mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake was inhibited or enhanced respectively by treatments with Ru360 or kaempferol. Surprisingly, mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake inhibition by Ru360 and enhancement by kaempferol led to similar dose-dependent decreases in brain-wide intrinsic activities in both the frequency domain (spectral amplitude) and temporal domain (resting state functional connectivity; RSFC). The fact that there were similar dose-dependent decreases in the frequency and temporal domains of the resting state fMRI-BOLD fluctuations during mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake inhibition or enhancement indicated that mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake and its homeostasis may strongly influence the brain's functional organization at rest. Interestingly, the resting state fMRI-derived intrinsic activities in the caudate putamen and thalamic regions saturated much faster with increasing dosage of either drug treatment than the drug-induced trends observed in cortical and hippocampal regions. Regional differences in how the spectral amplitude and RSFC changed with treatment indicate distinct mitochondrion-mediated spontaneous neuronal activity coupling within the various RSFC networks determined by resting state fMRI.


Ru360; calcium uniporter; cerebral blood flow; cortical excitability; fMRI; functional network; kaempferol; mCU; mitochondria; neuronal; resting state

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