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Dual color miniscope imaging of microvessels and neuronal activity in the hippocampus CA1 region of freely moving mice following alcohol administration

American Physiological Society

Authors: Kelsey North, Steven Mysiewicz, Anna N. Bukiya, and Alex M. Dopico
Publication: American Journal of Physiology
Date: October 23, 2023
Link to article: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ajpregu.00044.2023


Moderate-to-heavy episodic (“binge”) drinking is the most common form of alcohol consumption in the United States. Alcohol at binge drinking concentrations reduces brain artery diameter in vivo and in vitro in many species including rats, mice and humans. Despite the critical role played by brain vessels in maintaining neuronal function, there is a shortage of methodologies to simultaneously assess neuron and blood vessel function in deep brain regions. Here, we investigate cerebrovascular responses to ethanol by choosing a deep brain region that is implicated in alcohol-disruption of brain function, the hippocampal CA1, and describe the process for obtaining simultaneous imaging of pyramidal neuron activity and diameter of nearby microvessels in freely moving mice via a dual-color miniscope. Recordings of neurovascular events were performed upon IP injection of saline vs. 3 g/kg ethanol in the same mouse. In male mice, ethanol mildly increased the amplitude of calcium signals while robustly decreasing their frequency. Simultaneously, ethanol decreased microvessel diameter. In females, ethanol did not change amplitude or frequency of calcium signals from CA1 neurons but decreased microvessel diameter. A linear regression of ethanol-induced reduction in number of active neurons and microvessel constriction revealed a positive correlation (R=0.981) in females. Together, these data demonstrate the feasibility of simultaneously evaluating neuronal and vascular components of alcohol actions in a deep brain area in freely moving mice, as well as the sexual dimorphism of hippocampal neurovascular responses to alcohol.

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