CNS*2020 Online has ended
Welcome to the Sched instance for CNS*2020 Online! Please read the instruction document on detailed information on CNS*2020.
Back To Schedule
Monday, July 20 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
O9: Discovering synaptic mechanisms underlying the propagation of cortical activity: A model-driven experimental and data analysis approach

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.

Heidi Teppola, Jugoslava Acimovic, Marja-Leena Linne

Spontaneous, synchronized activity is a well-established feature of cortical networks in vitro and in vivo. The landmark of this activity is the repetitive emergence of bursts propagating across networks as spatio-temporal patterns. Cortical bursts are governed by excitatory and inhibitory synapses via AMPA, NMDA and GABAa receptors. Although spontaneous activity is a well known phenomenon in developing networks, its specific underlying mechanisms in health and disease are not fully understood. In order to study the synaptic mechanisms regulating the propagation of cortical activity it is important to combine the experimental wet-lab studies with in silico modeling and build detailed, realistic, computational models of cortical network activity. Moreover, experimental studies and analysis of microelectrode array (MEA) data are not typically designed to support computational modeling. We show here how the synaptic AMPA, NMDA and GABAa receptors shape the initiation, propagation and termination of the cortical burst activity in rodent networks in vitro and in silico and develop model-driven data analysis workflow to support the development of spiking and biophysical network models in silico [1].

We created a model-driven data analysis workflow with multiple steps to examine the contributions of synaptic receptors to burst dynamics both in vitro and in silico neuronal networks (Fig.1). First, the cortical networks were prepared from the forebrains of the postnatal rats and maintained on MEA plates. Second, network-wide activity was recorded by MEA technique under several pharmacological conditions of receptor antagonists. Third, multivariate data analysis was conducted in a way that supports both neurobiological questions as well as the fitting and validation of computational models to quantitatively produce the experimental results. Fourth, the computational models were simulated with different parameters to test putative mechanisms responsible for network activity.

The experimental results obtained in this study show that AMPA receptors initiate bursts by rapidly recruiting cells whereas NMDA receptors maintain them. GABAa receptors inhibit the spiking frequency of AMPA receptor-mediated spikes at the onset of bursts and attenuate the NMDA receptor-mediated late phase. These findings highlight the importance of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses in activity propagation and demonstrate a specific interaction between AMPA and GABAa receptors for fast excitation and inhibition. In the presence of this interaction, the spatio-temporal propagation patterns of activity are richer and more diverse than in its absence. Moreover, we emphasize the systematic data analysis approach with model-driven workflow throughout the study for comparison of results obtained from multiple in vitro networks and for validation of data-driven model development in silico. A well-defined workflow can reduce the amount of biological experiments, promote more reliable and efficient use of the MEA technique, and improve the reproducibility of research. It helps reveal in detail how excitatory and inhibitory synapses shape cortical activity propagation and dynamics in rodent networks in vitro and in silico.


[1] Teppola H, Aćimović J, Linne M-L. Unique features of network bursts emerge from the complex interplay of excitatory and inhibitory receptors in rat neocortical networks. Front Cell Neurosci. 2019,13(377):1-22.

avatar for Heidi Teppola

Heidi Teppola

Doctoral student, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University

Monday July 20, 2020 2:00pm - 2:20pm CEST
  Oral, Neurons to Circuits
  • Moderator Annalisa Scimemi; Tatiana Kameneva