Brain Tissue Oxygen and BOLD fMRI Under Different Levels of Neuronal Activity

D. P. Aksenov, K. Rutila, L. Li, M. J. Miller, D. A. Gascoigne, N. A. Serdyukova, E. D. Doubovikov, R. A. Linsenmeier, A. Drobyshevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Localized increases in neuronal activity are supported by the hemodynamic response, which delivers oxygen to the brain tissue to support synaptic functions, action potentials and other neuronal processes. However, it remains unknown if changes in baseline neuronal activity, which are expected to reflect neuronal metabolic demand, alter the relationship between the local hemodynamic and oxygen behaviour. In order to better characterize this system, we examine here the relationship between brain tissue oxygen (PO2) and hemodynamic responses (BOLD functional MRI) under different levels of neuronal activity. By comparing the stimulus-evoked responses during different levels of baseline neuronal activity, the awake state vs isoflurane anesthesia, we were able to measure how a known change in neuronal demand affected tissue PO2 as well as the hemodynamic response to stimulation. We observed a high correlation between stimulus-evoked PO2 and BOLD responses in the awake state. Moreover, we found that the evoked PO2 and BOLD responses were still present despite the elevated tissue oxygen baseline and decreased baseline of neuronal activity under low concentration isoflurane, and that the magnitudes of these responses decreased by similar proportions but the relationship between these signals was distorted. Our findings point to distortion of the BOLD-PO2 relationship due to anesthesia. The feedback mechanism to adjust the level of brain tissue oxygen, as well as the correlation between BOLD and PO2 responses, are impaired even by a small dose of anesthetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 2023


  • BOLD response
  • Brain tissue oxygenation
  • anaesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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