Format

Send to

Choose Destination
  • The following terms were not found in PubMed: self%E2%80%90propagate, non%E2%80%90synaptically.
J Physiol. 2019 Jan;597(1):249-269. doi: 10.1113/JP276904. Epub 2018 Nov 10.

Slow periodic activity in the longitudinal hippocampal slice can self-propagate non-synaptically by a mechanism consistent with ephaptic coupling.

Author information

1
Neural Engineering Center, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA.
2
School of Electrical and Information Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.

Abstract

KEY POINTS:

Slow periodic activity can propagate with speeds around 0.1 m s-1 and be modulated by weak electric fields. Slow periodic activity in the longitudinal hippocampal slice can propagate without chemical synaptic transmission or gap junctions, but can generate electric fields which in turn activate neighbouring cells. Applying local extracellular electric fields with amplitude in the range of endogenous fields is sufficient to modulate or block the propagation of this activity both in the in silico and in the in vitro models. Results support the hypothesis that endogenous electric fields, previously thought to be too small to trigger neural activity, play a significant role in the self-propagation of slow periodic activity in the hippocampus. Experiments indicate that a neural network can give rise to sustained self-propagating waves by ephaptic coupling, suggesting a novel propagation mechanism for neural activity under normal physiological conditions.

ABSTRACT:

Slow oscillations are a standard feature observed in the cortex and the hippocampus during slow wave sleep. Slow oscillations are characterized by low-frequency periodic activity (<1 Hz) and are thought to be related to memory consolidation. These waves are assumed to be a reflection of the underlying neural activity, but it is not known if they can, by themselves, be self-sustained and propagate. Previous studies have shown that slow periodic activity can be reproduced in the in vitro preparation to mimic in vivo slow oscillations. Slow periodic activity can propagate with speeds around 0.1 m s-1 and be modulated by weak electric fields. In the present study, we show that slow periodic activity in the longitudinal hippocampal slice is a self-regenerating wave which can propagate with and without chemical or electrical synaptic transmission at the same speeds. We also show that applying local extracellular electric fields can modulate or even block the propagation of this wave in both in silico and in vitro models. Our results support the notion that ephaptic coupling plays a significant role in the propagation of the slow hippocampal periodic activity. Moreover, these results indicate that a neural network can give rise to sustained self-propagating waves by ephaptic coupling, suggesting a novel propagation mechanism for neural activity under normal physiological conditions.

KEYWORDS:

electric field; ephaptic coupling; hippocampus; propagation; sleep wave; slow periodic activity

PMID:
30295923
PMCID:
PMC6312416
[Available on 2020-01-01]
DOI:
10.1113/JP276904

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center