Cortical Axons, Isolated in Channels, Display Activity-Dependent Signal Modulation as a Result of Targeted Stimulation
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-4548, E-ISSN 1662-453X, Vol. 10, 83Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Mammalian cortical axons are extremely thin processes that are difficult to study as a result of their small diameter: they are too narrow to patch while intact, and super-resolution microscopy is needed to resolve single axons. We present a method for studying axonal physiology by pairing a high-density microelectrode array with a microfluidic axonal isolation device, and use it to study activity-dependent modulation of axonal signal propagation evoked by stimulation near the soma. Up to three axonal branches from a single neuron, isolated in different channels, were recorded from simultaneously using 10-20 electrodes per channel. The axonal channels amplified spikes such that propagations of individual signals along tens of electrodes could easily be discerned with high signal to noise. Stimulation from 10 up to 160 Hz demonstrated similar qualitative results from all of the cells studied: extracellular action potential characteristics changed drastically in response to stimulation. Spike height decreased, spike width increased, and latency increased, as a result of reduced propagation velocity, as the number of stimulations and the stimulation frequencies increased. Quantitatively, the strength of these changes manifested itself differently in cells at different frequencies of stimulation. Some cells' signal fidelity fell to 80% already at 10 Hz, while others maintained 80% signal fidelity at 80 Hz. Differences in modulation by axonal branches of the same cell were also seen for different stimulation frequencies, starting at 10 Hz. Potassium ion concentration changes altered the behavior of the cells causing propagation failures at lower concentrations and improving signal fidelity at higher concentrations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, 83
microelectrode array, axon, axonal propagation, neuronal stimulation, axonal channels, electrophysiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282804DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00083ISI: 000371566000002PubMedID: 27013945OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-282804DiVA: diva2:919133
FunderEU, European Research Council, AdG 267351