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J Neurosci. 2009 Apr 22;29(16):5354-63. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0131-09.2009.

Nucleus accumbens deep brain stimulation produces region-specific alterations in local field potential oscillations and evoked responses in vivo.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens (NAC) region is an effective therapeutic avenue for several psychiatric disorders that are not responsive to traditional treatment strategies. Nonetheless, the mechanisms by which DBS achieves therapeutic effects remain unclear. We showed previously that high-frequency (HF) NAC DBS suppressed pyramidal cell firing and enhanced slow local field potential (LFP) oscillations in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) via antidromic activation of corticostriatal recurrent inhibition. Using simultaneous multisite LFP recordings in urethane-anesthetized rats, we now show that NAC DBS delivered for 90 min at high or low frequency (LF) selectively affects spontaneous and evoked LFP oscillatory power and coherence within and between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), lateral OFC, mediodorsal thalamus (MD), and NAC. Compared with LF or sham DBS, HF DBS enhanced spontaneous slow oscillations and potentiated evoked LFP responses only in OFC. HF DBS also produced widespread increases in spontaneous beta and gamma power and enhanced coherent beta activity between MD and all other regions. In contrast, LF DBS elevated theta power in MD and NAC. Analysis of acute NAC-induced oscillations showed that HF DBS increased and LF DBS decreased induced relative gamma coherence compared with sham DBS. These data suggest that HF (therapeutic) and LF (possibly deleterious) NAC DBS produce distinct region-specific and frequency band-specific changes in LFP oscillations. NAC DBS may achieve therapeutic effects by enhancing rhythmicity and synchronous inhibition within and between afferent structures, thereby normalizing function of a neural circuit that shows aberrant activity in obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.

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