Laminar analysis of the slow wave activity in the somatosensory cortex of anesthetized rats

Richárd Fiáth, Bálint Péter Kerekes, L. Wittner, Kinga Tóth, Patrícia Beregszászi, Domonkos Horváth, I. Ulbert

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Rhythmic slow waves characterize brain electrical activity during natural deep sleep and under anesthesia, reflecting the synchronous membrane potential fluctuations of neurons in the thalamocortical network. Strong evidence indicates that the neocortex plays an important role in the generation of slow wave activity (SWA), however, contributions of individual cortical layers to the SWA generation are still unclear. The anatomically correct laminar profiles of SWA were revealed under ketamine/xylazine anesthesia, with combined local field potential recordings, multiple-unit activity (MUA), current source density (CSD) and time-frequency analyses precisely co-registered with histology. The up-state related negative field potential wave showed the largest amplitude in layer IV, the CSD was largest in layers I and III, whereas MUA was maximal in layer V, suggesting spatially dissociated firing and synaptic/transmembrane processes in the rat somatosensory cortex. Up-state related firing could start in virtually any layers (III–VI) of the cortex, but were most frequently initiated in layer V. However, in a subset of experiments, layer IV was considerably active in initiating up-state related MUA even in the absence of somatosensory stimulation. Somatosensory stimulation further strengthened up-state initiation in layer IV. Our results confirm that cortical layer V firing may have a major contribution to the up-state generation of ketamine/xylazine-induced SWA, however, thalamic influence through the thalamorecipient layer IV can also play an initiating role, even in the absence of sensory stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1935-1951
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016



  • current source density analysis
  • local field potential
  • multiple-unit activity
  • slow (< 1 Hz) oscillation
  • slow wave activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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