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Neuroscience. 2011 Jun 30;185:161-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.04.022. Epub 2011 Apr 19.

Flash visual evoked potentials in mice can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation.

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1
San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Institute of Experimental Neurology (INSPE), Experimental Neurophysiology Unit, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in humans has been shown to affect the size of visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in a polarity-dependent way. VEPs have been widely employed in mice to study the visual system in physiological and pathological conditions and are extensively used as animal models of neurological and visual disorders. The present study was performed to evaluate whether mice VEPs could be modulated by tDCS in the same manner as in humans. We describe here the effects of 10 min tDCS (anodal, cathodal or no stimulation) on flash-VEPs in C57BL/6 mice under sevoflurane anesthesia. VEP amplitudes of the first major peak (P1) were analyzed before, at 0, 5 and 10 min after tDCS. Compared with no stimulation condition, anodal tDCS increased P1 amplitude slightly more than 25%, while cathodal stimulation had opposite effects, with a decrease of P1 amplitude by about 30%. After-effects tended to reverse toward basal levels within 10 min after tDCS. These results, suggesting polarity-dependent modulation similar to what described in humans of tDCS effects on VEPs, encourage the use of mice models to study tDCS mechanisms of action and explore therapeutic applications on neurological models of disease.

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