Conference paper Open Access

Resting-state functional MRI and [18F]-FDG PET demonstrate differences in neuronal activity between commonly used mouse strains.

Shah, Disha; Deleye, Steven; Verhoye, Marleen; Staelens, Steven; Van der Linden, Annemie

The existence of numerous interesting mouse models of neurological disorders enables the investigation of causal relations between pathological events and the effect of treatment regimes. However, mouse models of a specific neurological disease are often generated using different background strains, which raises the question whether the observed effects are specific to pathology or depend on the used strain. This study used two independent in vivo functional imaging techniques to evaluate whether mouse strain differences exist in functional connectivity (FC) and brain glucose metabolism i.e. indirect measures of neuronal activity. For this purpose, C57BL/6, BALB/C and SJL mice (N = 15/group, male) were evaluated using resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) and static [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography ([18F]-FDG PET). RsfMRI and [18F]-FDG PET data were analyzed with independent component analysis (ICA). FC was quantified by calculating the mean network-specific FC strength and [18F]-FDG uptake was quantified by calculating the mean network-specific standard uptake value corrected for plasma glucose levels and body weight (SUVglu). The ICA results showed spatially similar neurological components in the rsfMRI and [18F]-FDG PET data, suggesting that patterns of metabolic covariance in the mouse brain reflect FC networks. Comparing FC and [18F]-FDG data showed that strain-dependent differences in brain activity exist for several brain networks i.e. the frontal, cingulate, (hypo)thalamus, striatum, and sensorimotor networks. The results of this study have implications for the interpretation of in vivo functional imaging data in mouse models of neurological disorders generated on different background strains.

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