Burkhanova G - Chernova K - Khazipov R - Sheroziya M


Frontiers in systems neuroscience


Moderate cortical cooling is known to suppress slow oscillations and to evoke persistent cortical activity. However, the cooling-induced changes in electrical activity across cortical layers remain largely unknown. Here, we performed multi-channel local field potential (LFP) and multi-unit activity (MUA) recordings with linear silicone probes through the layers of single cortical barrel columns in urethane-anesthetized rats under normothermia (38°C) and during local cortical surface cooling (30°C). During cortically generated slow oscillations, moderate cortical cooling decreased delta wave amplitude, delta-wave occurrence, the duration of silent states, and delta wave-locked MUA synchronization. Moderate cortical cooling increased total time spent in the active state and decreased total time spent in the silent state. Cooling-evoked changes in the MUA firing rate in cortical layer 5 (L5) varied from increase to decrease across animals, and the polarity of changes in L5 MUA correlated with changes in total time spent in the active state. The decrease in temperature reduced MUA firing rates in all other cortical layers. Sensory-evoked MUA responses also decreased during cooling through all cortical layers. The cooling-dependent slowdown was detected at the fast time-scale with a decreased frequency of sensory-evoked high-frequency oscillations (HFO). Thus, moderate cortical cooling suppresses slow oscillations and desynchronizes neuronal activity through all cortical layers, and is associated with reduced firing across all cortical layers except L5, where cooling induces variable and non-consistent changes in neuronal firing, which are common features of the transition from slow-wave synchronization to desynchronized activity in the barrel cortex.

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