fMRI Imaging Services

Pathfinder Imaging Services fMRI for your SAGE® research model

Awake-animal imaging services are now available for your SAGE rat or mouse model. This translational imaging platform enables the visualization of functional, integrated neural networks in the following paradigms:

  • Baseline phenotyping of your SAGE rat or mouse model vs. wild type control
  • Interrogation of circuits involved in olfaction, pain, fear, aggression, etc. in response to elicited stimuli (e.g. hedonic or predatory odors, nociceptive compounds, etc.)
  • Response to your novel compound in your SAGE model vs. wild type control (phMRI)

Awake-animal imaging offers the ability to record signal changes across the entire brain in seconds in the absence of anesthesia artifacts. When combined with the use of 3D segmented, annotated brain atlases and computational analysis, it is possible to reconstruct distributed, integrated neural circuits or “fingerprints” of brain activity. These fingerprints can be used to characterize the activity and function of novel therapeutics and to study the neurobiology of integrated neural circuits associated with a wide range of CNS conditions. Imaging services are provided by our partner, Ekam Imaging, based out of Northeastern University’s Center for Translational Neuro-Imaging in Boston, MA. Ekam Imaging is the pioneer in awake animal imaging and the sole preclinical CRO providing awake animal imaging—which provides more translational results not confounded by anesthesia.

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Figure 1. fMRI imaging in awake rats

fMRI imaging was performed on awake Fmr1 knockout rats and wild type rats after administration of almond odor (left). Almond odor elicits a positive fMRI-BOLD signal in limbic regions of WT rats but not Fmr1 KO rats. (Right) Assessment of capsaicin-induced pain in WT rats. Capsaicin did not induce a pain response in Trpv1 knockout rats.

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