Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a fundamental tool to investigate human brain networks. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying fMRI signals are not fully understood. One hypothetical mechanism is the putative vascular control exerted by cytosolic calcium in perivascular astrocytes. We have performed combined fMRI-electrophysiology experiments in mice lacking the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate-type-2 receptor, with the primary pathway of cytosolic calcium increase eliminated into astrocytes. Our results show that evoked electrophysiologic activity and fMRI signals acquired during either transient or sustained neuronal activations occur independently of these large calcium signals. This result challenges the suggested intermediary role of astrocytic calcium surges in fMRI-signal generation.
- local field potentials