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Neuroscience. 1992 Nov;51(2):285-94.

Delta frequency (1-4 Hz) oscillations of perigeniculate thalamic neurons and their modulation by light.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.


Neurons in the perigeniculate sector of the reticular thalamic nuclear complex were recorded extra- and intracellularly under deep urethane anesthesia. They were identified by burst responses to optic chiasm stimulation and depolarizing spindle oscillations in response to internal capsule stimulation. Perigeniculate neurons displayed oscillations within the frequency range of electroencephalogram delta waves (1-4 Hz). One-third of extracellularly recorded neurons discharged rhythmic (2.5-4 Hz), high-frequency (150-200 Hz) spike bursts. This was similar to an intrinsic oscillation that was recently observed in dorsal lateral geniculate cells studied in vitro and in vivo. Other oscillating neurons displayed trains of single spikes (20-50 Hz) crowning rhythmic (2.5-4 Hz) depolarizing envelopes that were best expressed at the "resting" membrane potential (-60 to -65 mV). It is suggested that this oscillation reflects synaptic drives from dorsal lateral geniculate neurons. Changes in ambient room luminosity disrupted both types of delta rhythms. These data demonstrate for the first time that delta oscillations are present in the visual sector of the reticular thalamic nucleus. The results suggest that the two types of delta rhythmicity result from intrinsic and network properties of visual thalamic neurons and that perigeniculate cells may synchronize, through backward connections, the activity of dorsal lateral geniculate cells during deep stages of resting sleep.

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