Rhythmic bursting in the cortico-subthalamo-pallidal network during spontaneous genetically determined spike and wave discharges
ABSTRACT Absence seizures are characterized by impairment of consciousness associated with bilaterally synchronous spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) in the electroencephalogram (EEG), which reflect paroxysmal oscillations in thalamocortical networks. Although recent studies suggest that the subthalamic nucleus (STN) provides an endogenous control system that influences the occurrence of absence seizures, the mechanisms of propagation of cortical epileptic discharges in the STN have never been explored. The present study provides the first description of the electrophysiological activity in the cortico-subthalamo-pallidal network during absence seizures in the genetic absence epilepsy rats from Strasbourg, a well established model of absence epilepsy. In corticosubthalamic neurons, the SWDs were associated with repetitive suprathreshold depolarizations correlated with EEG spikes. These cortical paroxysms were reflected in the STN by synchronized, rhythmic, high-frequency bursts of action potentials. Intracellular recordings revealed that the intraburst pattern in STN neurons was sculpted by an early depolarizing synaptic potential, followed by a short hyperpolarization and a rebound of excitation. The rhythmic hyperpolarizations in STN neurons during SWDs likely originate from a subpopulation of pallidal neurons exhibiting rhythmic bursting temporally correlated with the EEG spikes. The repetitive discharges in STN neurons accompanying absence seizures might convey powerful excitation to basal ganglia output nuclei and, consequently, may participate in the control of thalamocortical SWDs.
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ABSTRACT: The two principal movement-suppressing pathways of the basal ganglia, the so-called hyperdirect and indirect pathways, interact within the subthalamic nucleus (STN). An appropriate level and pattern of hyperdirect pathway cortical excitation and indirect pathway external globus pallidus (GPe) inhibition of the STN are critical for normal movement and are greatly perturbed in Parkinson’s disease. Here we demonstrate that motor cortical inputs to the STN heterosynaptically regulate, through activation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors, the number of functional GABAA receptor-mediated GPe-STN in- puts. Therefore, a homeostatic mechanism, intrinsic to the STN, balances cortical excitation by adjusting the strength of GPe inhibition. However, following the loss of dopamine, excessive cortical activation of STN NMDA receptors triggers GPe-STN inputs to strengthen abnormally, contributing to the emergence of pathological, correlated activity.Neuron 01/2015; 85(2):364-376. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.022 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Absence epilepsy is believed to be associated with the abnormal interactions between the cerebral cortex and thalamus. Besides the direct coupling, anatomical evidence indicates that the cerebral cortex and thalamus also communicate indirectly through an important intermediate bridge-basal ganglia. It has been thus postulated that the basal ganglia might play key roles in the modulation of absence seizures, but the relevant biophysical mechanisms are still not completely established. Using a biophysically based model, we demonstrate here that the typical absence seizure activities can be controlled and modulated by the direct GABAergic projections from the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) to either the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) or the specific relay nuclei (SRN) of thalamus, through different biophysical mechanisms. Under certain conditions, these two types of seizure control are observed to coexist in the same network. More importantly, due to the competition between the inhibitory SNr-TRN and SNr-SRN pathways, we find that both decreasing and increasing the activation of SNr neurons from the normal level may considerably suppress the generation of spike-and-slow wave discharges in the coexistence region. Overall, these results highlight the bidirectional functional roles of basal ganglia in controlling and modulating absence seizures, and might provide novel insights into the therapeutic treatments of this brain disorder.PLoS Computational Biology 03/2014; 10(3):e1003495. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003495 · 4.83 Impact Factor
PLoS ONE 12/2013; · 3.53 Impact Factor