Default-mode network functional connectivity is closely related to metabolic activity
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Over the last decade, the brain's default-mode network (DMN) and its function has attracted a lot of attention in the field of neuroscience. However, the exact underlying mechanisms of DMN functional connectivity, or more specifically, the blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal, are still incompletely understood. In the present study, we combined 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoroglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to investigate more directly the association between local glucose consumption, local glutamatergic neurotransmission and DMN functional connectivity during rest. The results of the correlation analyzes using the dorsal posterior cingulate cortex (dPCC) as seed region showed spatial similarities between fluctuations in FDG-uptake and fluctuations in BOLD signal. More specifically, in both modalities the same DMN areas in the inferior parietal lobe, angular gyrus, precuneus, middle, and medial frontal gyrus were positively correlated with the dPCC. Furthermore, we could demonstrate that local glucose consumption in the medial frontal gyrus, PCC and left angular gyrus was associated with functional connectivity within the DMN. We did not, however, find a relationship between glutamatergic neurotransmission and functional connectivity. In line with very recent findings, our results lend further support for a close association between local metabolic activity and functional connectivity and provide further insights towards a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of the BOLD signal.