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Nucleus- and species-specific properties of the slow (<1 hz) sleep oscillation in thalamocortical neurons

Zhu, L., Blethyn, Kate L., Cope, David W., Tsomaia, Vera, Crunelli, Vincenzo ORCID: and Hughes, Stuart Wynn 2006. Nucleus- and species-specific properties of the slow (<1 hz) sleep oscillation in thalamocortical neurons. Neuroscience 141 (2) , pp. 621-36. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.04.069

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The slow (<1 Hz) rhythm is an electroencephalogram hallmark of resting sleep. In thalamocortical neurons this rhythm correlates with a slow (<1 Hz) oscillation comprising recurring UP and DOWN membrane potential states. Recently, we showed that metabotropic glutamate receptor activation brings about an intrinsic slow oscillation in thalamocortical neurons of the cat dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in vitro which is identical to that observed in vivo. The aim of this study was to further assess the properties of this oscillation and compare them with those observed in thalamocortical neurons of three other thalamic nuclei in the cat (ventrobasal complex, medial geniculate body; ventral lateral nucleus) and two thalamic nuclei in rats and mice (lateral geniculate nucleus and ventrobasal complex). Slow oscillations were evident in all of these additional structures and shared several basic properties including, i) the stereotypical, rhythmic alternation between distinct UP and DOWN states with the UP state always commencing with a low-threshold Ca2+ potential, and ii) an inverse relationship between frequency and injected current so that slow oscillations always increase in frequency with hyperpolarization, often culminating in delta (?) activity at 1–4 Hz. However, beyond these common properties there were important differences in expression between different nuclei. Most notably, 44% of slow oscillations in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus possessed UP states that comprised sustained tonic firing and/or high-threshold bursting. In contrast, slow oscillations in cat ventrobasal complex, medial geniculate body and ventral lateral nucleus thalamocortical neurons exhibited such UP states in only 16%, 11% and 10% of cases, respectively, whereas slow oscillations in the lateral geniculate nucleus and ventrobasal complex of rats and mice did so in <12% of cases. Thus, the slow oscillation is a common feature of thalamocortical neurons that displays clear species- and nuclei-related differences. The potential functional significance of these results is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: EEG; delta waves; T-type calcium channels; metabotropic glutamate receptor
ISSN: 0306-4522
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 08:49

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