Date: December 2001
Creator: Sparks, Christopher A.
Description: Spontaneous activity in neuronal networks in vitro is common and has been well documented. However, alteration of spontaneous activity in such networks via conditioning electrical stimulation has received much less experimental attention. Two different patterns of electrical stimulation were used to enhance or depress the level of spontaneous activity in spinal cord cultures. High-frequency stimulation (HFS), a method routinely shown to increase the efficacy of synaptic transmission, was employed to augment spontaneous activity. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS), the technique often applied to depress synaptic efficacy, was employed to decrease spontaneous activity. In addition, LFS was used to reverse the effect of HFS on spontaneous activity. Likewise, HFS was applied to counter the effect of LFS. Because these networks were grown on multi-microelectrode plates (MMEPs), this allowed the simultaneous stimulation of any combination of the 64 electrodes in the array. Thus, the possible differences in response to single versus multi-electrode stimulation were also addressed. Finally, test-pulses were delivered before and after the conditioning stimulation on the same stimulation electrode(s) in order to assess the change in mean evoked action potentials (MEAPs). Dissociated spinal tissue from embryonic mice was allowed to mature into self-organized networks that exhibited spontaneous bursting activity after two weeks ...
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