Scientific publications

Ketamine induced oscillations in the motor circuit of the rat basal ganglia

Jul 29, 2011 | Magazine: PloS One

Nicolás MJ, López-Azcárate J, Valencia M, Alegre M, Pérez-Alcázar M, Iriarte J, Artieda J.


Oscillatory activity can be widely recorded in the cortex and basal ganglia. This activity may play a role not only in the physiology of movement, perception and cognition, but also in the pathophysiology of psychiatric and neurological diseases like schizophrenia or Parkinson's disease.

Ketamine administration has been shown to cause an increase in gamma activity in cortical and subcortical structures, and an increase in 150 Hz oscillations in the nucleus accumbens in healthy rats, together with hyperlocomotion.We recorded local field potentials from motor cortex, caudate-putamen (CPU), substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) and subthalamic nucleus (STN) in 20 awake rats before and after the administration of ketamine at three different subanesthetic doses (10, 25 and 50 mg/Kg), and saline as control condition.

Motor behavior was semiautomatically quantified by custom-made software specifically developed for this setting.Ketamine induced coherent oscillations in low gamma (~ 50 Hz), high gamma (~ 80 Hz) and high frequency (HFO, ~ 150 Hz) bands, with different behavior in the four structures studied.

While oscillatory activity at these three peaks was widespread across all structures, interactions showed a different pattern for each frequency band. Imaginary coherence at 150 Hz was maximum between motor cortex and the different basal ganglia nuclei, while low gamma coherence connected motor cortex with CPU and high gamma coherence was more constrained to the basal ganglia nuclei.

Power at three bands correlated with the motor activity of the animal, but only coherence values in the HFO and high gamma range correlated with movement. Interactions in the low gamma band did not show a direct relationship to movement.

These results suggest that the motor effects of ketamine administration may be primarily mediated by the induction of coherent widespread high-frequency activity in the motor circuit of the basal ganglia, together with a frequency-specific pattern of connectivity among the structures analyzed.

CITATION PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21814.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021814.  Epub 2011 Jul 29.

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