Optical recording of spreading depression in rat neocortical slices

Ildiko Világi, Nicole Klapka, Heiko J. Luhmann

Research output: Article

46 Citations (Scopus)


A spreading depression (SD) was elicited in adult rat neocortical slices by microdrop application of high potassium and the SD propagation pattern was analyzed by recording simultaneously the extracellular DC potential and the changes in the intrinsic optical signal. The electrical SD with an average peak amplitude of 13.2±3.4 mV showed a good spatial and temporal correlation with the optical signal. In 79% of the slices, the SD was characterized by an initial increase of light reflectance by 2.3±1.6%, followed by a reflectance decrease of 0.5±2.4% and finally a larger and long-lasting increase by 5±2.4%. In the remaining slices, the SD revealed an initial decrease in light reflectance by 5.8±1.8% followed by an increase of 1.4±1.2%. In all slices, the recovery in the DC recording was faster as in the optical signal. The SD preferentially propagated within layers I-IV and could be blocked in most experiments by a vertical incision through upper layers or by local glutamate receptor blockade following microdrop application of kynurenic acid in layers II-III. The SD could be also blocked by bath application of kynurenic acid, MK-801 and octanol, but not by the more specific gap junction blocker carbenoxolone. Our results indicate that the high density of dendritic processes and glutamate receptors in layers II-IV promote the horizontal spread of the SD in these cortical layers and that gap junctions are not required for the propagation of SD in neocortical slices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - ápr. 20 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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