Receptor-enriched analysis of functional connectivity by targets (REACT) is a strategy to enrich functional MRI (fMRI) data with molecular information on the neurotransmitter distribution density in the human brain, providing a biological basis to the functional connectivity (FC) analysis. Although this approach has been used in BOLD fMRI studies only so far, extending its use to ASL imaging would provide many advantages, including the more direct link of ASL with neuronal activity compared to BOLD and its suitability for pharmacological MRI studies assessing drug effects on baseline brain function. Here, we applied REACT to simultaneous ASL/BOLD resting-state fMRI data of 29 healthy subjects and estimated the ASL and BOLD FC maps related to six molecular systems. We then compared the ASL and BOLD FC maps in terms of spatial similarity, and evaluated and compared the test-retest reproducibility of each modality. We found robust spatial patterns of molecular-enriched FC for both modalities, moderate similarity between BOLD and ASL FC maps and comparable reproducibility for all but one molecular-enriched functional networks. Our findings showed that ASL is as informative as BOLD in detecting functional circuits associated with specific molecular pathways, and that the two modalities may provide complementary information related to these circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11751
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2023


  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation/physiology
  • Brain/diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping/methods

Cite this