Spatial extent of oxygen metabolism and hemodynamic changes during functional activation of the rat somatosensory cortex


The spatial extent of the changes in oxy-hemoglobin ($\ce{HbO}$), deoxy-hemoglobin ($\ce{HbR}$), total hemoglobin concentration ($\ce{HbT}$), cerebral blood flow ($\ce{CBF}$), and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen ($\ce{CMRO_2}$) in response to forepaw and whisker stimulation were compared in the rat somatosensory cortex using a combination of multi-wavelength reflectance imaging and laser speckle contrast imaging of cerebral blood flow. The spatial extents of the response of each hemodynamic parameter and $\ce{CMRO_2}$ were found to be comparable at the time of peak response, and at early times following stimulation onset, the spatial extent of the change in $\ce{HbR}$ was smaller than that of $\ce{HbO}$, $\ce{HbT}$, $\ce{CBF}$, and $\ce{CMRO_2}$. In addition, a slight spatial dependence was found in the power law coefficient relating changes in $\ce{CBF}$ and $\ce{HbT}$. Although the $\ce{CMRO_2}$ response is a metabolic measure and thus expected to have a more localized response than the hemodynamic parameters, the results presented here suggest that this may not be the case in general, possibly due to the increased sensitivity of optical imaging techniques to superficial cortical layers where the lateral extent of the metabolic and neuronal activation is larger compared to that in layer IV. In addition, we found that the measured spatial extent of the $\ce{CMRO_2}$ changes was insensitive to assumptions made in the calculation of the $\ce{CMRO_2}$ changes such as baseline hemoglobin concentrations, vascular weighting constants, and wavelength dependence of tissue scattering. Multi-parameter full field imaging of the functional response provides a more complete picture of the hemodynamic response to functional activation including the spatial and temporal estimation of $\ce{CMRO_2}$ changes.

Journal article