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Title

Imaging hypothalamic activity using diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging in the mouse and human brain

AuthorsLizarbe, Blanca ; Benítez, Ania ; Sánchez-Montañés, Manuel; Lago-Fernández, L.; García-Martín, María L. ; López-Larrubia, Pilar ; Cerdán, Sebastián
Issue Date2013
PublisherElsevier
CitationNeuroImage 64: 448-457 (2013)
AbstractHypothalamic appetite regulation is a vital homeostatic process underlying global energy balance in animals and humans, its disturbances resulting in feeding disorders with high morbidity and mortality. The objective evaluation of appetite remains difficult, very often restricted to indirect measurements of food intake and body weight. We report here, the direct, non-invasive visualization of hypothalamic activation by fasting using diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging, in the mouse brain as well as in a preliminary study in the human brain. The brain of fed or fasted mice or humans were imaged at 7 or 1.5Tesla, respectively, by diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging using a complete range of b values (10<b<2000s.mm -2). The diffusion weighted image data sets were registered and analyzed pixel by pixel using a biexponential model of diffusion, or a model-free Linear Discriminant Analysis approach. Biexponential fittings revealed statistically significant increases in the slow diffusion parameters of the model, consistent with a neurocellular swelling response in the fasted hypothalamus. Increased resolution approaches allowed the detection of increases in the diffusion parameters within the Arcuate Nucleus, Ventromedial Nucleus and Dorsomedial Nucleus. Independently, Linear Discriminant Analysis was able to classify successfully the diffusion data sets from mice and humans between fed and fasted states. Present results are consistent with increased glutamatergic neurotransmission during orexigenic firing, a process resulting in increased ionic accumulation and concomitant osmotic neurocellular swelling. This swelling response is spatially extendable through surrounding astrocytic networks until it becomes MRI detectable. Present findings open new avenues for the direct, non-invasive, evaluation of appetite disorders and other hypothalamic pathologies helping potentially in the development of the corresponding therapies. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.09.033
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/77087
DOI10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.09.033
Identifiersissn: 1053-8119
e-issn: 1095-9572
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