Cultures of dissociated cortical neurons represent a powerful trade-off between more realistic experimental models and abstract modeling approaches, allowing to investigate mechanisms of synchronized activity generation. These networks spontaneously alternate periods of high activity (i.e. network bursts) with periods of quiescence in a dynamic state which recalls the fluctuation of in vivo UP and DOWN states. Network bursts can also be elicited by external stimulation and their spatial propagation patterns tracked by means of multi-channel micro-electrode arrays. In this study, we used rat cortical cultures coupled to micro-electrode arrays to investigate the similarity between spontaneous and evoked activity patterns. We performed experiments by applying electrical stimulation to different network locations and demonstrated that the rank orders of electrodes during evoked and spontaneous events are remarkably similar independently from the stimulation source. We linked this result to the capability of stimulation to evoke firing in highly active and "leader" sites of the network, reliably and rapidly recruited within both spontaneous and evoked bursts. Our study provides the first evidence that spontaneous and evoked activity similarity is reliably observed also in dissociated cortical networks.

Stimulation triggers endogenous activity patterns in cultured cortical networks

Pasquale, Valentina;Martinoia, Sergio;Chiappalone, Michela
2017

Abstract

Cultures of dissociated cortical neurons represent a powerful trade-off between more realistic experimental models and abstract modeling approaches, allowing to investigate mechanisms of synchronized activity generation. These networks spontaneously alternate periods of high activity (i.e. network bursts) with periods of quiescence in a dynamic state which recalls the fluctuation of in vivo UP and DOWN states. Network bursts can also be elicited by external stimulation and their spatial propagation patterns tracked by means of multi-channel micro-electrode arrays. In this study, we used rat cortical cultures coupled to micro-electrode arrays to investigate the similarity between spontaneous and evoked activity patterns. We performed experiments by applying electrical stimulation to different network locations and demonstrated that the rank orders of electrodes during evoked and spontaneous events are remarkably similar independently from the stimulation source. We linked this result to the capability of stimulation to evoke firing in highly active and "leader" sites of the network, reliably and rapidly recruited within both spontaneous and evoked bursts. Our study provides the first evidence that spontaneous and evoked activity similarity is reliably observed also in dissociated cortical networks.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/884217
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