A description of healthy and pathological brain dynamics requires an understanding of spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity and characteristics of its propagation between interconnected circuits. However, the structure and modulation of the neural activation maps underlying these patterns and their propagation remain elusive. We investigated effects of β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) stimulation on the spatiotemporal characteristics of emergent activity in rat hippocampal circuits. Synchronized epileptiform-like activity, such as interictal bursts (IBs) and ictal-like events (ILEs), were evoked by 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), and their dynamics were studied using a combination of electrophysiology and fast voltage-sensitive dye imaging. Dynamic characterization of the spontaneous IBs showed that they originated in dentate gyrus/CA3 border and propagated toward CA1. To determine how β-AR modulates spatiotemporal characteristics of the emergent IBs, we used the β-AR agonist isoproterenol (ISO). ISO significantly reduced the spatiotemporal extent and propagation velocity of the IBs and significantly altered network activity in the 1- to 20-Hz range. Dual whole cell recordings of the IBs in CA3/CA1 pyramidal cells and optical analysis of those regions showed that ISO application reduced interpyramidal and interregional synchrony during the IBs. In addition, ISO significantly reduced duration not only of the shorter duration IBs but also the prolonged ILEs in 4-AP. To test whether the decrease in ILE duration was model dependent, we used a different hyperexcitability model, zero magnesium (0 Mg2+). Prolonged ILEs were readily formed in 0 Mg2+, and addition of ISO significantly reduced their durations. Taken together, these novel results provide evidence that β-AR activation dynamically reshapes the spatiotemporal activity patterns in hyperexcitable circuits by altering network rhythmogenesis, propagation velocity, and intercellular/regional synchronization.
- neural circuits
- Copyright © 2012 the American Physiological Society