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Rhythmic spontaneous activity in the piriform cortex

AuthorsSánchez-Vives, María V.; Descalzo, Vanessa F.; Reig, Ramón; Figueroa, N. A.; Compte, Albert; Gallego, Roberto
Issue Date2008
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationCerebral Cortex 18(5): 1179-1192 (2008)
AbstractSlow spontaneous rhythmic activity is generated and propagates in neocortical slices when bathed in an artificial cerebrospinal fluid with ionic concentrations similar to the ones in vivo. This activity is extraordinarily similar to the activation of the cortex in physiological conditions (e.g., slow-wave sleep), thus representing a unique in vitro model to understand how cortical networks maintain and control ongoing activity. Here we have characterized the activity generated in the olfactory or piriform cortex and endopiriform nucleus (piriform network). Because these structures are prone to generate epileptic discharges, it seems critical to understand how they generate and regulate their physiological rhythmic activity. The piriform network gave rise to rhythmic spontaneous activity consisting of a succession of up and down states at an average frequency of 1.8 Hz, qualitatively similar to the corresponding neocortical activity. This activity originated in the deep layers of the piriform network, which displayed higher excitability and denser connectivity. A remarkable difference with neocortical activity was the speed of horizontal propagation (114 mm/s), one order of magnitude faster in the piriform network. Properties of the piriform cortex subserving fast horizontal propagation may underlie the higher vulnerability of this area to epileptic seizures.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/cercor/bhm152
issn: 1047-3211
e-issn: 1460-2199
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