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Model-predicted balance between neural excitation and inhibition was maintained despite of age-related decline in sensory evoked local field potential in rat barrel cortex

Kang, S., Hayashi, Y., Bruyns-Haylett, M., Delivopoulos, E. and Zheng, Y. (2020) Model-predicted balance between neural excitation and inhibition was maintained despite of age-related decline in sensory evoked local field potential in rat barrel cortex. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 14 (24). ISSN 1662-5137

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2020.00024

Abstract/Summary

The balance between neural excitation and inhibition has been shown to be crucial for normal brain function. However, it is unclear whether this balance is maintained through healthy aging. This study investigated the effect of aging on the temporal dynamics of the somatosensory evoked local field potential (LFP) in rats and tested the hypothesis that excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic activities remain balanced during the aging process. The LFP signal was obtained from the barrel cortex of three different age groups of anesthetized rats (pre-adolescence: 4~6 weeks, young adult: 2~3 months, middle-aged adult: 10~20 months) under whisker pad stimulation. To confirm our previous finding that the initial segment of the evoked LFP was solely associated with excitatory post-synaptic activity, we micro-injected gabazine into the barrel cortex to block inhibition while LFP was collected continuously under the same stimulus condition. As expected, the initial slope of the evoked LFP in the granular layer was unaffected by gabazine injection. We subsequently estimated the excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic activities through a balanced model of the LFP with delayed inhibition as an explicit constraint, and calculated the amplitude ratio of inhibition to excitation. We found an age-dependent slowing of the temporal dynamics in the somatosensory-evoked post-synaptic activity, as well as a significant age-related decrease in the amplitude of the excitatory component and a decreasing trend in the amplitude of the inhibitory component. Furthermore, the delay of inhibition with respect to excitation was significantly increased with age, but the amplitude ratio was maintained. Our findings suggest that aging reduces the amplitude of neural responses, but the balance between sensory evoked excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic activities is maintained to support normal brain function during healthy aging. Further whole cell patch clamp experiments will be needed to confirm or refute these findings by measuring sensory evoked synaptic excitatory and inhibitory activities in vivo during the normal aging process.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:90312
Publisher:Frontiers

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