Functional MRI of murine olfactory bulbs at 15.2T reveals characteristic activation patters when stimulated by different odors

Odélia Chitrit, Qingjia Bao, Aoling Cai, Silvia Gabriela Chuartzman, Noga Zilkha, Rafi Haddad, Tali Kimchi, Lucio Frydman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thanks to its increased sensitivity, single-shot ultrahigh field functional MRI (UHF fMRI) could lead to valuable insight about subtle brain functions such as olfaction. However, UHF fMRI experiments targeting small organs next to air voids, such as the olfactory bulb, are severely affected by field inhomogeneity problems. Spatiotemporal Encoding (SPEN) is an emerging single-shot MRI technique that could provide a route for bypassing these complications. This is here explored with single-shot fMRI studies on the olfactory bulbs of male and female mice performed at 15.2T. SPEN images collected on these organs at a 108 µm in-plane resolution yielded remarkably large and well-defined responses to olfactory cues. Under suitable T2* weightings these activation-driven changes exceeded 5% of the overall signal intensity, becoming clearly visible in the images without statistical treatment. The nature of the SPEN signal intensity changes in such experiments was unambiguously linked to olfaction, via single-nostril experiments. These experiments highlighted specific activation regions in the external plexiform region and in glomeruli in the lateral part of the bulb, when stimulated by aversive or appetitive odors, respectively. These strong signal activations were non-linear with concentration, and shed light on how chemosensory signals reaching the olfactory epithelium react in response to different cues. Second-level analyses highlighted clear differences among the appetitive, aversive and neutral odor maps; no such differences were evident upon comparing male against female olfactory activation regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13343
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2023

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© 2023, Springer Nature Limited.

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