P. van Mierlo
B. Van Nieuwenhuyse
- Modulation of Hippocampal Activity by Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Freely Moving Rats
- Brain Stimulation
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
BACKGROUND: Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has seizure-suppressing effects but the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. To further elucidate the mechanisms underlying VNS-induced seizure suppression at a neurophysiological level, the present study examined effects of VNS on hippocampal excitability using dentate gyrus evoked potentials (EPs) and hippocampal electroencephalography (EEG).
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with a VNS electrode around the left vagus nerve. A bipolar stimulation electrode was implanted in the left perforant path and a bipolar recording electrode was implanted in the left dentate gyrus for EEG and dentate field EP recording. Following recovery, VNS was applied in freely moving animals, using a duty cycle of 7 s on/18 s off, 30 Hz frequency, 250 micros pulse width, and an intensity of either 0 (SHAM), 25 microA or 1000 microA, while continuously monitoring EEG and dentate field EPs.
RESULTS: VNS at 1000 microA modulated dentate field EPs by decreasing the field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP) slope and increasing the latency and amplitude of the population spike. It additionally influenced hippocampal EEG by slowing theta rhythm from 7 Hz to 5 Hz and reducing theta peak and gamma band power. No effects were observed in the SHAM or 25 microA VNS conditions.
CONCLUSION: VNS modulated hippocampal excitability of freely moving rats in a complex way. It decreased synaptic efficacy, reflected by decreased fEPSP slope and EEG power, but it simultaneously facilitated dentate granule cell discharge indicating depolarization of dentate granule cells.
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