DOI: 10.1101/492108Dec 10, 2018Paper

Cortical excitation:inhibition imbalance causes abnormal brain network dynamics as observed in neurodevelopmental disorders

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Marija MarkicevicNicole Wenderoth


Abnormal brain development manifests itself at different spatial scales. However, whether abnormalities at the cellular level can be diagnosed from network activity measured withfunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is largely unknown, yet of high clinical relevance. Here we applied fMRI while using chemogenetics to increase the excitation-to-inhibition ratio (E:I) within cortical microcircuits of the mouse brain, thereby mimicking a putative mechanism of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. Increased E:I caused a significant reduction of long-range connectivity, irrespective of whether excitatory neurons were facilitated or inhibitory Parvalbumin interneurons were suppressed. Training a classifier on fMRI signals, we were able to accurately classify cortical areas exhibiting increased E:I. This classifier was validated in an independent cohort of Fmr1y/- knock-out mice, a model for autism with well-documented loss of Parvalbumin neurons and chronic alterations of E:I. Our findings demonstrate a promising novel approach towards inferring microcircuit abnormalities from macroscopic fMRI measurements.

Related Concepts

Autistic Disorder
Body Regions
Cerebral Cortex
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Laboratory mice
Spatial Distribution

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