The basal ganglia are a series of interconnected subcortical nuclei. how the basal ganglia circuit functions in normal versus pathological says remains an important question. While firing rate changes have been observed in disease says these are often small in magnitude and you will find more salient changes in patterning (bursting oscillatory activity) and synchrony both within and across nodes in the basal ganglia network. Abnormal activity patterns have been studied extensively in Parkinson’s disease (Eusebio et al 2009 Litvak et al 2011) and dystonia (Chen et al 2006 Bafilomycin A1 Starr et al 2005 Weinberger et al 2012) and show correlations between such phenomena and disease manifestations. However such observations cannot demonstrate causality (Eusebio & Brown 2009). Interestingly the fact that comparable oscillations are seen in Parkinson’s disease and dystonia suggests that oscillations in and of themselves may not cause the motor phenotype. Additional disease-specific physiologic signatures are being identified in human recordings (de Hemptinne et al 2013 Shimamoto et al 2013) and these may help us develop hypotheses as to the causal role of neural activity in movement disorders. Less is known about how such bursting synchrony or oscillations contribute to normal basal ganglia function in humans but this is an ongoing area of research which can be most effectively carried out using animal models (Leventhal et al 2012). Animal Models Recordings from your striatum have been less supportive of the Rate Model which predicts that loss of dopamine will produce reciprocal decreases and increases in the firing Bafilomycin A1 of direct and indirect pathway neurons. In chronically parkinsonian animals the overall firing rate of striatal neurons increases markedly (Liang et al 2008 Rothblat & Schneider 1993). This observation may Bafilomycin A1 be due to oversampling of high firing rate indirect pathway neurons but using rate responses to levodopa administration as a means for identifying neurons it was observed that both direct and indirect pathway neurons have markedly elevated firing rates (Liang et al 2008). As in humans non-human primate studies have often shown minimal changes in overall firing rate but suggest patterned activity may be a driver of abnormal behavior. SNr for example shows essentially no firing rate switch in MPTP monkeys but an increase in bursting (Wichmann et al 1999). STN shows increases in both rate and bursting (Bergman et al 1994). GPe and GPi also show increased levels of synchrony and Bafilomycin A1 oscillations after MPTP treatment (Raz et al 2000 Wichmann et al 1994). Although definitive evidence that these oscillations are necessary and sufficient to produce parkinsonian motor behavior is still lacking a variety of abnormalities in patterned activity do improve in MPTP monkeys with several different treatment modalities including levodopa (Heimer et al 2006 Tachibana Mouse monoclonal to PRMT6 et al 2011) healing pharmacologic inactivations of basal ganglia nuclei (Tachibana et al 2011) and DBS (Hahn Bafilomycin A1 et al 2008 McCairn & Turner 2009 Vitek et al 2012). While optogenetic research in rodents show that immediate and indirect pathway activation is certainly to trigger opposing behaviors (Kravitz et al 2010 Tai et al 2012) they never have proven that such imbalances are to create behavior. Subsequent research Bafilomycin A1 using observational (instead of interventional) methods have got told a far more challenging story. Significantly a minority of unidentified striatal neurons modulate firing during particular movements or duties (Hikosaka et al 1989 Hollerman et al 1998 Kawagoe et al 1998 Kimchi & Laubach 2009). Merging cell-type-specific genetic strategies with in vivo imaging a recently available paper confirmed that both immediate and indirect pathway striatal neurons are turned on simultaneously throughout a electric motor job (Cui et al 2013). An identical research using single-unit recordings and juxtacellular labeling of striatal neurons also discovered cooperative activity of the immediate and indirect pathways during voluntary actions (Isomura et al 2013). Using single-unit and optogenetics recordings our lab provides discovered co-activation of both direct.