Prior functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies have indicated increased neural activation when zinc nanoparticles are added to odorants in canines. Here we demonstrate that zinc nanoparticles up-regulate directional brain connectivity in parts of the canine olfactory network. This provides an explanation for previously reported enhancement in the odor detection capability of the dogs in the presence of zinc nanoparticles. In this study, we obtained fMRI data from awake and unrestrained dogs while they were being exposed to odorants with and without zinc nanoparticles, zinc nanoparticles suspended in water vapor, as well as just water vapor alone. We obtained directional connectivity between the brain regions of the olfactory network that were significantly stronger for the condition of odorant + zinc nanoparticles compared to just odorants, water vapor + zinc nanoparticles and water vapor alone. We observed significant strengthening of the paths of the canine olfactory network in the presence of zinc nanoparticles. This result indicates that zinc nanoparticles could potentially be used to increase canine detection capabilities in the environments of very low concentrations of the odorants, which would have otherwise been undetected.
|Publication Title||Frontiers in Veterinary Science|
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