Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals abnormal brain connectivity in EGR3 gene transfected rat model of schizophrenia

Tianbin Song, Binbin Nie, Ensen Ma, Jing Che, Shilong Sun, Yuli Wang, Baoci Shan, Yawu Liu, Senlin Luo, Guolin Ma, Kefeng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Schizophrenia is characterized by the disorder of "social brain". However, the alternation of connectivity density in brain areas of schizophrenia patients remains largely unknown. In this study, we successfully created a rat model of schizophrenia by the transfection of EGR3 gene into rat brain. We then investigated the connectivity density of schizophrenia susceptible regions in rat brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in combination with multivariate Granger causality (GC) model. We found that the average signal strength in prefrontal lobe and hippocampus of schizophrenia model group was significantly higher than the control group. Bidirectional Granger causality connection was observed between hippocampus and thalamic in schizophrenia model group. Both connectivity density and Granger causality connection were changed in prefrontal lobe, hippocampus and thalamus after risperidone treatment. Our results indicated that fMRI in combination with GC connection analysis may be used as an important method in diagnosis of schizophrenia and evaluation the effect of antipsychotic treatment. These findings support the connectivity disorder hypothesis of schizophrenia and increase our understanding of the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Connectivity
  • Granger causality model
  • Rat
  • Schizophrenia
  • fMRI


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