Epidemiological studies have found an increased incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders in populations prenatally exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Optical imaging provides a minimally invasive way to determine if perinatal SSRI exposure has long-term effects on cortical function. Herein we probed the functional neuroimaging effects of perinatal SSRI exposure in a fluoxetine (FLX)-exposed mouse model. While resting-state homotopic contralateral functional connectivity was unperturbed, the evoked cortical response to forepaw stimulation was altered in FLX mice. The stimulated cortex showed decreased activity for FLX versus controls, by both hemodynamic responses [oxyhemoglobin (HbO2)] and neuronal calcium responses (Thy1-GCaMP6f fluorescence). Significant alterations in both cortical HbO2 and calcium response amplitude were seen in the cortex ipsilateral to the stimulated paw in FLX as compared to controls. The cortical regions of largest difference in activation between FLX and controls also were consistent between HbO2 and calcium contrasts at the end of stimulation. Taken together, these results suggest a global loss of response signal amplitude in FLX versus controls. These findings indicate that perinatal SSRI exposure has long-term consequences on somatosensory cortical responses.
- Calcium imaging
- Cerebral hemodynamics