Global intracellular slow-wave dynamics of the thalamocortical system.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Neurosci, Volume 34, Issue 26, p.8875-93 (2014)


Animals, Axons, Cerebral Cortex, Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials, Mice, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Thalamus


<p>It is widely accepted that corticothalamic neurons recruit the thalamus in slow oscillation, but global slow-wave thalamocortical dynamics have never been experimentally shown. We analyzed intracellular activities of neurons either from different cortical areas or from a variety of specific and nonspecific thalamic nuclei in relation to the phase of global EEG signal in ketamine-xylazine anesthetized mice. We found that, on average, slow-wave active states started off within frontal cortical areas as well as higher-order and intralaminar thalamus (posterior and parafascicular nuclei) simultaneously. Then, the leading edge of active states propagated in the anteroposterior/lateral direction over the cortex at ∼40 mm/s. The latest structure we recorded within the slow-wave cycle was the anterior thalamus, which followed active states of the retrosplenial cortex. Active states from different cortical areas tended to terminate simultaneously. Sensory thalamic ventral posterior medial and lateral geniculate nuclei followed cortical active states with major inhibitory and weak tonic-like "modulator" EPSPs. In these nuclei, sharp-rising, large-amplitude EPSPs ("drivers") were not modulated by cortical slow waves, suggesting their origin in ascending pathways. The thalamic active states in other investigated nuclei were composed of depolarization: some revealing "driver"- and "modulator"-like EPSPs, others showing "modulator"-like EPSPs only. We conclude that sensory thalamic nuclei follow the propagating cortical waves, whereas neurons from higher-order thalamic nuclei display "hub dynamics" and thus may contribute to the generation of cortical slow waves.</p>

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