The dynamic separation of pallidal neurons into anti-phase oscillatory groups under Parkinsonian conditions in a computational model
© Merrison-Hort and Borisyuk; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 21 July 2014
Neurons in the globus pallidus (GP) of urethane anesthetized rats typically display one of four spiking patterns: tonic, non-modulated, firing (the NM group); firing that occurs preferentially during either the active or inactive phases of slow cortical oscillations (TA or TI group, respectively); or silence/quiescence (QU group). In healthy animals the vast majority of neurons are in the non-modulated group. However, under conditions of experimentally-induced Parkinsonism there is a dramatic increase in the number of neurons whose firing patterns show modulation by the slow cortical rhythm, either in-phase or anti-phase . The mechanism that underlies the increased tendency for GP neurons to become entrained by cortical rhythms is unclear, but it may contribute to some of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Our results  support the hypothesis that oscillatory entrainment occurs primarily via the subthalamic pathway. We find that as a result of the interplay between excitatory input from the STN and mutual inhibition between GP neurons, the network shows a self-organizing dynamical behavior where two groups of neurons (TI and TA) emerge out of a homogeneous population.
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