Cortical hemodynamic responses induced by low-intensity transcranial ultrasound stimulation of mouse cortex

Neuroimage. 2020 May 1;211:116597. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116597. Epub 2020 Feb 1.


Ultrasound-mediated neuromodulation is emerging as a key technology for targeted noninvasive brain stimulation, but key insights into its effects and dose-response characteristics are still missing. The purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the effect of low-intensity transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) on complementary aspects of cerebral hemodynamic. We simultaneously record the EMG signal, local field potential (LFP) and cortical blood flow (CBF) using electrophysiological recording and laser speckle contrast imaging under ultrasound stimulation to simultaneously monitor motor responses, neural activities and hemodynamic changes during the application of low-intensity TUS in mouse motor cortex, using excitation pulses which caused whisker and tail movement. Our experimental results demonstrate interdependent TUS-induced motor, neural activity and hemodynamic responses that peak approximately 0.55s, 1.05s and 2.5s after TUS onset, respectively, and show a linear coupling relationship between their respective varying response amplitudes to repeated stimuli. We also found monotonic dose-response parametric relations of the CBF peak value increase as a function of stimulation intensity and duration, while stimulus duty-cycle had only a weak effect on peak responses. These findings demonstrate that TUS induces a change in cortical hemodynamics and LSCI provide a high temporal resolution view of these changes.

Keywords: Hemodynamic; LSCI; Motor response; Multi-parameter; Neural activity; Transcranial ultrasound stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Electrocorticography / methods*
  • Electrocorticography / standards
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Electromyography / standards
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging / methods*
  • Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging / standards
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Motor Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Neuroimaging / standards
  • Neurovascular Coupling / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Tail / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonic Therapy
  • Ultrasonic Waves*
  • Vibrissae / physiology