Resting-State fMRI-Based Screening of Deschloroclozapine in Rhesus Macaques Predicts Dosage-Dependent Behavioral Effects

Atsushi Fujimoto, Catherine Elorette, J. Megan Fredericks, Satoka H. Fujimoto, Lazar Fleysher, Peter H. Rudebeck, Brian E. Russ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Chemogenetic techniques, such as designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs), enable transient, reversible, and minimally invasive manipulation of neural activity in vivo. Their development in nonhuman primates is essential for uncovering neural circuits contributing to cognitive functions and their translation to humans. One key issue that has delayed the development of chemogenetic techniques in primates is the lack of an accessible drug-screening method. Here, we use resting-state fMRI, a noninvasive neuroimaging tool, to assess the impact of deschloroclozapine (DCZ) on brainwide restingstate functional connectivity in 7 rhesus macaques (6 males and 1 female) without DREADDs. We found that systemic administration of 0.1mg/kg DCZ did not alter the resting-state functional connectivity. Conversely, 0.3 mg/kg of DCZ was associated with a prominent increase in functional connectivity that was mainly confined to the connections of frontal regions. Additional behavioral tests confirmed a negligible impact of 0.1 mg/kg DCZ on socio-emotional behaviors as well as on reaction time in a probabilistic learning task; 0.3mg/kg DCZ did, however, slow responses in the probabilistic learning task, suggesting attentional or motivational deficits associated with hyperconnectivity in fronto-temporo-parietal networks. Our study highlights both the excellent selectivity of DCZ as a DREADD actuator, and the side effects of its excess dosage. The results demonstrate the translational value of resting-state fMRI as a drug-screening tool to accelerate the development of chemogenetics in primates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5705-5716
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number29
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2022


  • ICA
  • deschloroclozapine
  • functional connectivity
  • macaque monkey
  • rs-fMRI


Dive into the research topics of 'Resting-State fMRI-Based Screening of Deschloroclozapine in Rhesus Macaques Predicts Dosage-Dependent Behavioral Effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this