DOI: 10.1162/imag_a_00120 ISSN: 2837-6056

Alpha-180 spin-echo based line-scanning method for high resolution laminar-specific fMRI in animals

Sangcheon Choi, David Hike, Rolf Pohmann, Nikolai Avdievich, Lidia Gomez-Cid, Weitao Man, Klaus Scheffler, Xin Yu


Laminar-specific functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used to study circuit-specific neuronal activity by mapping spatiotemporal fMRI response patterns across cortical layers. Hemodynamic responses reflect indirect neuronal activity given the limitation of spatial and temporal resolution. Previously, a gradient-echo based line-scanning fMRI (GELINE) method was proposed with high temporal (50 ms) and spatial (50 µm) resolution to better characterize the fMRI onset time across cortical layers by employing two saturation RF pulses. However, the imperfect RF saturation performance led to poor boundary definition of the reduced region of interest (ROI) and aliasing problems outside of the ROI. Here, we propose an α (alpha)-180 spin-echo-based line-scanning fMRI (SELINE) method in animals to resolve this issue by employing a refocusing 180˚ RF pulse perpendicular to the excitation slice (without any saturation RF pulse) and also achieve high spatiotemporal resolution. In contrast to GELINE signals which peaked at the superficial layer, we detected varied peaks of laminar-specific BOLD signals across deeper cortical layers using the SELINE method, indicating the well-defined exclusion of the large draining-vein effect using the spin-echo sequence. Furthermore, we applied the SELINE method with a 200 ms TR to sample the fast hemodynamic changes across cortical layers with a less draining vein effect. In summary, this SELINE method provides a novel acquisition scheme to identify microvascular-sensitive laminar-specific BOLD responses across cortical depth.

More from our Archive