Science2014-06-10 4:26 PM

新方法在分子水平解析活体脑细胞世界 Molecular-Level Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Dopaminergic Signaling

论文摘要 

研究人员已经发现了用功能性核磁共振成像(fMRI)来绘测活体大脑神经元活性的一种方法,这一进步可能会帮助神经科学家研究某些长期以来用传统成像技术无法触及的神经活动。

Taekwan Lee及其同事用一种叫做BM3h-9D7的蛋白设计了这一新的分子fMRI工具,该蛋白兼具对像多巴胺等神经递质的敏感性及又能通过MRI被检测到的特性。然后,他们对一只大鼠的腹测纹状体进行了轻微电击刺激,并同时检测了该特殊区域中的多巴胺活性,而腹测纹状体大脑中的一个奖励处理区。

研究人员的结果揭示了一幅在该大鼠脑中的多巴胺释放的三维图。他们说,将来,这一方法可能会带来分析整个神经系统的新的途径。

Abstract 

We demonstrate a technique for mapping brain activity that combines molecular specificity and spatial coverage using a neurotransmitter sensor detectable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This molecular functional MRI (fMRI) method yielded time-resolved volumetric measurements of dopamine release evoked by reward-related lateral hypothalamic brain stimulation of rats injected with the neurotransmitter sensor. Peak dopamine concentrations and release rates were observed in the anterior nucleus accumbens core. Substantial dopamine transients were also present in more caudal areas. Dopamine-release amplitudes correlated with the rostrocaudal stimulation coordinate, suggesting participation of hypothalamic circuitry in modulating dopamine responses. This work provides a foundation for development and application of quantitative molecular fMRI techniques targeted toward numerous components of neural physiology.

Editor's Summary

Watching Brain Molecules

Functional neuroimaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) molecular sensors would be useful for mechanistic analysis of neural systems. Lee et al. (p. 533) applied MRI-detectable sensors to measure molecular aspects of brain function in conjunction with noninvasive imaging. The molecular sensor revealed a quantitative spatiotemporal map of dopamine release in the ventral striatum, a brain area involved in processing rewards.

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