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In vivo γ-aminobutyric acid measurement in rats with spectral editing at 4.7T.

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Sawiak, Stephen J 
Jupp, Bianca 
Taylor, Tom 
Caprioli, Daniele 
Carpenter, T Adrian 


PURPOSE: To evaluate the feasibility of spectral editing for quantification of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the rat brain and to determine whether altered GABA concentration in the ventral striatum is a neural endophenotype associated with trait-like impulsive behavior. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Spectra were acquired at 4.7T for 23 male Lister-hooded rats that had been previously screened for extremely low and high impulsivity phenotypes on an automated behavioral task (n = 11 low-impulsive; n = 12 high-impulsive). Voxels of 3 × 7 × 4 mm(3) (84 μL) centered bilaterally across the ventral striatum were used to evaluate GABA concentration ratios. RESULTS: Quantifiable GABA signals in the ventral striatum were obtained for all rats. Mean-edited GABA to n-acetyl aspartate (NAA) ratios in the ventral striatum were 0.22 (95% confidence interval [CI] [0.18, 0.25]). Mean GABA/NAA ratios in this region were significantly decreased by 28% in high-impulsive rats compared to low-impulsive rats (P = 0.02; 95% CI [-53%, -2%]). CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that spectral editing at 4.7T is a feasible method to assess in vivo GABA concentrations in the rat brain. The results show that diminished GABA content in the ventral striatum may be a neural endophenotype associated with impulsivity. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;43:1308-1312.



GABA, behavior, nucleus accumbens, spectroscopy, striatum, Animals, Brain, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Molecular Imaging, Rats, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

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J Magn Reson Imaging

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Medical Research Council (G0001354)
Medical Research Council (G0701500)
Medical Research Council (G1000183)
Wellcome Trust (093875/Z/10/Z)
This study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (G0701500) and by a joint award from the Medical Research Council (G1000183) and Wellcome Trust (093875/Z/10/Z) in support of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at Cambridge University. BJ is supported by grants from the AXA Research Fund and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (1016313).