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Keywords:

  • deep brain stimulation;
  • fMRI;
  • rat;
  • mouse;
  • tungsten electrode

Purpose

To develop a series of robust and readily adoptable protocols for the application of deep brain stimulation (DBS)-functional MRI (fMRI) in rodents.

Methods

DBS-fMRI procedures were conducted in rat and mouse under varying anesthetic conditions (isoflurane in rat and mouse, α-chloralose in rat). A homemade two-channel tungsten microwire electrode was used to minimize magnetic susceptibility artifacts, and was targeted to the ventral posteromedial (VPM) thalamus for DBS-fMRI scanning procedures.

Results

Compared with a commercially available MR-compatible electrode, the tungsten microwire generated greatly reduced magnetic-susceptibility artifacts. In the rat, VPM-DBS using the microwire electrode resulted in robust positive blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal changes in somatosensory cortex that were relatively independent of anesthetic type. In the mouse, VPM-DBS similarly generated large, positive neurovascular responses in somatosensory cortex that were detected using cerebral blood volume measurements.

Conclusion

Collectively, this work describes reasonable and easily adoptable procedures for conducting DBS-fMRI studies in rodent models. The protocols developed herein may be extended to study DBS effects under numerous experimental conditions and at varying stimulation targets. Magn Reson Med, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.