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Negative blood oxygen level dependence in the rat: a model for investigating the role of suppression in neurovascular coupling

Boorman, L., Kennerley, A. J., Johnston, D., Jones, M., Zheng, Y. ORCID:, Redgrave, P. and Berwick, J. (2010) Negative blood oxygen level dependence in the rat: a model for investigating the role of suppression in neurovascular coupling. Journal of Neuroscience, 30 (12). pp. 4285-4294. ISSN 0270-6474

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6063-09.2010


Modern neuroimaging techniques rely on neurovascular coupling to show regions of increased brain activation. However, little is known of the neurovascular coupling relationships that exist for inhibitory signals. To address this issue directly we developed a preparation to investigate the signal sources of one of these proposed inhibitory neurovascular signals, the negative blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response (NBR), in rat somatosensory cortex. We found a reliable NBR measured in rat somatosensory cortex in response to unilateral electrical whisker stimulation, which was located in deeper cortical layers relative to the positive BOLD response. Separate optical measurements (two-dimensional optical imaging spectroscopy and laser Doppler flowmetry) revealed that the NBR was a result of decreased blood volume and flow and increased levels of deoxyhemoglobin. Neural activity in the NBR region, measured by multichannel electrodes, varied considerably as a function of cortical depth. There was a decrease in neuronal activity in deep cortical laminae. After cessation of whisker stimulation there was a large increase in neural activity above baseline. Both the decrease in neuronal activity and increase above baseline after stimulation cessation correlated well with the simultaneous measurement of blood flow suggesting that the NBR is related to decreases in neural activity in deep cortical layers. Interestingly, the magnitude of the neural decrease was largest in regions showing stimulus-evoked positive BOLD responses. Since a similar type of neural suppression in surround regions was associated with a negative BOLD signal, the increased levels of suppression in positive BOLD regions could importantly moderate the size of the observed BOLD response.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:33476
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience

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