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Origins of post synaptic potentials evoked in spiny neostriatal projection neurons by thalamic stimulation in the rat

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Summary

Stimulation of thalamic intralaminar nuclei or structures along the intrathalamic trajectory of thalamostriatal axons evoked complex EPSPs and subsequent hyperpolarizations in rat neostriatal spiny neurons identified by intracellular injection of horseradish peroxidase and/or antidromic activation from substantia nigra. In intact urethane-anesthetized rats, the initial EPSP portion of the response consisted of several components and lasted up to 75 ms. Short (1–10 ms) latency components exhibiting latency variations suggestive of a polysynaptic origin were often observed, and sometimes were the earliest components of the response. However, individual components of the excitatory response could not be clearly distinguished in most neurons and the earliest excitatory component usually appeared to be monosynaptic.

After large acute aspiration lesions of ipsilateral cerebral cortex, the early polysynaptic EPSP components of thalamic-evoked EPSPs were absent or greatly attenuated. This suggested that most or all of the short latency polysynaptic EPSP components arose via a thalamo-cortico-striatal route. A short latency (1.6–4.0 ms) monosynaptic EPSP and a second excitatory component with a longer and more variable latency (8–28 ms) remained intact after acute decortication. These were not dependent upon intact corticothalamic or corticostriatal axons, since they were both still present in experiments performed as long as 4 days following ipsilateral hemidecortication. The longer latency excitatory response was shown to be polysynaptic by its latency variation with changes in stimulus intensity and frequency. This component of the response was abolished after acute thalamic hemitransections separating thalamostriatal neurons from their axons. In these experiments, stimulation of thalamostriatal axons rostral to the transection continued to evoke monosynaptic EPSPs in neostriatal spiny neurons. These EPSPs ranged from 1.8 to 3.0 ms in latency, had peak amplitudes up to 11 mV and were 20–37 ms in duration.

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Correspondence to C. J. Wilson Ph. D..

Additional information

Supported by grants NS 17294 (to C.J. Wilson) and NS 14866 (to S.T. Kitai) from the National Institutes of Health

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Wilson, C.J., Chang, H.T. & Kitai, S.T. Origins of post synaptic potentials evoked in spiny neostriatal projection neurons by thalamic stimulation in the rat. Exp Brain Res 51, 217–226 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237197

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Key words

  • Thalamostriatal pathway
  • Neostriatum
  • Basal ganglia
  • Neostriatal spiny neuron
  • Thalamostriatal EPSPs