H. C. Cromwell, A. Klein, R. Mears
Apr 25, 2007
The striatum is thought to be an essential region for integrating diverse information in the brain. Rapid inhibitory gating (IG) of sensory input is most likely an early factor necessary for appropriate integration to be completed. Gating is currently evaluated in clinical settings and is dramatically altered in a variety of psychiatric illnesses. Basic neuroscience research using animals has revealed specific neural sites involved in IG including the hippocampus, thalamus, brainstem, amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex. The present study investigated local IG in the basal ganglia structure of the striatum using chronic recording microwires. We obtained both single unit activations and local field potentials (LFPs) in awake behaving rats from each wire during the standard two-tone paradigm. Single units responded with different types of activations including a phasic and sustained excitation, an inhibitory response and a combination response that contained both excitatory and inhibitory components. IG was observed in all the response types; however, non-gating was observed in a large proportion of responses as well. Positive wave field potentials at 50-60 ms post-stimulus (P60) showed consistent gating across the wire arrays. No significant correlations were found between single unit and LFP measures of gating during the initial baseline session. Gating was strengthened (Tamp/Camp ratios approaching 0) following acute stress (saline injection) at both the single unit and LFP level due to the reduction in the response to the second tone. Alterations in sensory responding reflected by changes in the neural response to the initial tone were primarily observed following long-term internal state deviation (food deprivation) and during general locomotion. Overall, our results support local IG by single neurons in striatum but also suggest that rapid inhibition is not the dominant activation profile observed in other brain regions.