Effects of hypoxia, hyperoxia, and hypercapnia on baseline and stimulus-evoked BOLD, CBF, and CMRO2 in spontaneously breathing animals

Kenneth M. Sicard, Timothy Q. Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the effects of inspired hypoxic, hyperoxic, and hypercapnic gases on baseline and stimulus-evoked changes in blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO 2) in spontaneously breathing rats under isoflurane anesthesia. Each animal was subjected to a baseline period of six inspired gas conditions (9% O2, 12% O2, 21% O2, 100% O2, 5% CO2, and 10% CO2) followed by a superimposed period of forepaw stimulation. Significant stimulus-evoked fMRI responses were found in the primary somatosensory cortices. Relative fMRI responses to forepaw stimulation varied across gas conditions and were dependent on baseline physiology, whereas absolute fMRI responses were similar across moderate gas conditions (12% O2, 21% O2 100% O2, and 5% CO2) and were relatively independent of baseline physiology. Consistent with data obtained using well-established techniques, baseline and stimulus-evoked CMRO2 were invariant across moderate physiological perturbations thereby supporting a CMRO2-fMRI technique for non-invasive CMRO2 measurement. However, under 9% O2 and 10% CO2, stimulus-evoked CBF and BOLD were substantially reduced and the CMRO2 formalism appeared invalid, likely due to attenuated neurovascular coupling and/or a failure of the model under extreme physiological perturbations. These findings demonstrate that absolute fMRI measurements help distinguish neural from non-neural contributions to the fMRI signals and may lend a more accurate measure of brain activity during states of altered basal physiology. Moreover, since numerous pharmacologic agents, pathophysiological states, and psychiatric conditions alter baseline physiology independent of neural activity, these results have implications for neuroimaging studies using relative fMRI changes to map brain activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-858
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial spin labeling
  • Brain mapping
  • CBV
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen
  • Neural-vascular coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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