Novel modes of rhythmic burst firing at cognitively-relevant frequencies in thalamocortical neurons

Stuart W. Hughes, Adam Errington, Magor L. Lorincz, K. Kékesi, G. Juhász, Gergely Orbán, David W. Cope, Vincenzo Crunelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is now widely accepted that certain types of cognitive functions are intimately related to synchronized neuronal oscillations at both low (α/θ) (4-7/8-13 Hz) and high (β/γ) (18-35/30-70 Hz) frequencies. The thalamus is a key participant in many of these oscillations, yet the cellular mechanisms by which this participation occurs are poorly understood. Here we describe how, under appropriate conditions, thalamocortical (TC) neurons from different nuclei can exhibit a wide array of largely unrecognised intrinsic oscillatory activities at a range of cognitively-relevant frequencies. For example, both metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) and muscarinic Ach receptor (mAchR) activation can cause rhythmic bursting at α/θ frequencies. Interestingly, key differences exist between mGluR- and mAchR-induced bursting, with the former involving extensive dendritic Ca2+ electrogenesis and being mimicked by a non-specific block of K+ channels with Ba2+, whereas the latter appears to be more reliant on proximal Na+ channels and a prominent spike afterdepolarization (ADP). This likely relates to the differential somatodendritic distribution of mGluRs and mAChRs and may have important functional consequences. We also show here that in similarity to some neocortical neurons, inhibiting large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels in TC neurons can lead to fast rhythmic bursting (FRB) at ∼ 40 Hz. This activity also appears to rely on a Na+ channel-dependent spike ADP and may occur in vivo during natural wakefulness. Taken together, these results show that TC neurons are considerably more flexible than generally thought and strongly endorse a role for the thalamus in promoting a range of cognitively-relevant brain rhythms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Volume1235
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2008

Fingerprint

Neurons
Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors
Muscarinic Receptors
Thalamus
Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
Wakefulness
Cognition
Brain

Keywords

  • Acetylcholine
  • Cognition
  • EEG
  • Intralaminar nucleus
  • Lateral geniculate nucleus
  • Memory
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptor
  • Oscillations
  • Perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Novel modes of rhythmic burst firing at cognitively-relevant frequencies in thalamocortical neurons. / Hughes, Stuart W.; Errington, Adam; Lorincz, Magor L.; Kékesi, K.; Juhász, G.; Orbán, Gergely; Cope, David W.; Crunelli, Vincenzo.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1235, 15.10.2008, p. 12-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hughes, Stuart W. ; Errington, Adam ; Lorincz, Magor L. ; Kékesi, K. ; Juhász, G. ; Orbán, Gergely ; Cope, David W. ; Crunelli, Vincenzo. / Novel modes of rhythmic burst firing at cognitively-relevant frequencies in thalamocortical neurons. In: Brain Research. 2008 ; Vol. 1235. pp. 12-20.
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