Information processing from the motor cortices to the subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus and their somatotopic organizations revealed electrophysiologically in monkeys.
ABSTRACT: To understand how the information derived from different motor cortical areas representing different body parts is organized in the basal ganglia, we examined the neuronal responses in the subthalamic nucleus (STN), and the external (GPe) and internal (GPi) segments of the globus pallidus (input, relay and output nuclei, respectively) to stimulation of the orofacial, forelimb and hindlimb regions of the primary motor cortex (MI) and supplementary motor area (SMA) in macaque monkeys under the awake state. Most STN and GPe/GPi neurons responded exclusively to stimulation of either the MI or SMA, and one-fourth to one-third of neurons responded to both. STN neurons responding to the hindlimb, forelimb and orofacial regions of the MI were located along the medial-lateral axis in the posterolateral STN, while neurons responding to the orofacial region of the SMA were located more medially than the others in the anteromedial STN. GPe/GPi neurons responding to the hindlimb, forelimb and orofacial regions of the MI were found along the dorsal-ventral axis in the posterolateral GPe/GPi, and neurons responding to the corresponding regions of the SMA were similarly but less clearly distributed in more anteromedial regions. Moreover, neurons responding to the distal and proximal forelimb MI regions were found along the lateral-medial axis in the STN and the ventral-dorsal axis in the GPe/GPi. Most STN and GPe/GPi neurons showed kinaesthetic responses with similar somatotopic maps. These observations suggest that the somatotopically organized inputs from the MI and SMA are well preserved in the STN and GPe/GPi with partial convergence.
Project description:Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most common neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD). Whereas the globus pallidus interna (GPi) has been less commonly targeted than the subthalamic nucleus (STN), a recent clinical trial suggests that GPi DBS may provide better outcomes for patients with psychiatric comorbidities. Several laboratories have demonstrated that DBS of the STN provides neuroprotection of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) dopamine neurons in preclinical neurotoxin models of PD and increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, whether DBS of the entopeduncular nucleus (EP), the homologous structure to the GPi in the rat, has similar neuroprotective potential in preclinical models has not been investigated. We investigated the impact of EP DBS on forelimb use asymmetry and SNpc degeneration induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and on BDNF levels. EP DBS in male rats received unilateral, intrastriatal 6-OHDA and ACTIVE or INACTIVE stimulation continuously for two weeks. Outcome measures included quantification of contralateral forelimb use, stereological assessment of SNpc neurons and BDNF levels. EP DBS 1) did not ameliorate forelimb impairments induced by 6-OHDA, 2) did not provide neuroprotection for SNpc neurons and 3) did not significantly increase BDNF levels in any of the structures examined. These results are in sharp contrast to the functional improvement, neuroprotection and BDNF-enhancing effects of STN DBS under identical experimental parameters in the rat. The lack of functional response to EP DBS suggests that stimulation of the rat EP may not represent an accurate model of clinical GPi stimulation.
Project description:Using a neuron-specific retrograde gene-transfer vector (NeuRet vector), we established immunotoxin (IT)-mediated tract targeting in the primate brain that allows ablation of a neuronal population constituting a particular pathway. Here, we attempted selective removal of the cortico-subthalamic "hyperdirect" pathway. In conjunction with the direct and indirect pathways, the hyperdirect pathway plays a crucial role in motor information processing in the basal ganglia. This pathway links the motor-related areas of the frontal lobe directly to the subthalamic nucleus (STN) without relay at the striatum. After electrical stimulation in the motor-related areas such as the supplementary motor area (SMA), triphasic responses consisting of an early excitation, an inhibition, and a late excitation are usually detected in the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi). Several lines of pharmacophysiological evidence suggest that the early excitation may be derived from the hyperdirect pathway. In the present study, the NeuRet vector expressing human interleukin-2 receptor ?-subunit was injected into the STN of macaque monkeys. Then, IT injections were made into the SMA. In these monkeys, single-neuron activity in the GPi was recorded in response to the SMA stimulation. We found that the early excitation was largely reduced, with neither the inhibition nor the late excitation affected. The spontaneous firing rate and pattern of GPi neurons remained unchanged. This indicates that IT-mediated tract targeting successfully eliminated the hyperdirect pathway selectively from the basal ganglia circuitry without affecting spontaneous activity of STN neurons. The electrophysiological finding was confirmed with anatomical data obtained from retrograde and anterograde neural tracings. The present results define that the cortically-driven early excitation in GPi neurons is mediated by the hyperdirect pathway. The IT-mediated tract targeting technique will provide us with novel strategies for elucidating various neural network functions.
Project description:Different striatal projection neurons are the origin of a dual organization essential for basal ganglia function. We have defined an analogous division of labor in the external globus pallidus (GPe) of Parkinsonian rats, showing that the distinct temporal activities of two populations of GPe neuron in vivo are underpinned by distinct molecular profiles and axonal connectivities. A first population of prototypic GABAergic GPe neurons fire antiphase to subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons, often express parvalbumin, and target downstream basal ganglia nuclei, including STN. In contrast, a second population (arkypallidal neurons) fire in-phase with STN neurons, express preproenkephalin, and only innervate the striatum. This novel cell type provides the largest extrinsic GABAergic innervation of striatum, targeting both projection neurons and interneurons. We conclude that GPe exhibits several core components of a dichotomous organization as fundamental as that in striatum. Thus, two populations of GPe neuron together orchestrate activities across all basal ganglia nuclei in a cell-type-specific manner.
Project description:The basal ganglia are a subcortical assembly of nuclei involved in many aspects of behavior. Three of the nuclei have high firing rates and inhibitory influences: the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), globus pallidus interna (GPi), and globus pallidus externa (GPe). The SNr contains a wide range of visual, cognitive, and motor signals that have been shown to contribute to saccadic eye movements. Our hypothesis was that GPe and GPi neurons carry similarly diverse signals during saccadic behavior. We recorded from GPe, GPi, and SNr neurons in monkeys that made memory-guided saccades and found that neurons in all three structures had increases or decreases in activity synchronized with saccade generation, visual stimulation, or reward. Comparing GPe neurons with GPi neurons, we found relatively more visual-related activity in GPe and more reward-related activity in GPi. Comparing both pallidal samples with the SNr, we found a greater resemblance between GPe and SNr neurons than that between GPi and SNr neurons. As expected from a known inhibitory projection from GPe to SNr, there was a general reversal of sign in activity modulations between the structures: bursts of activity were relatively more common in GPe and pauses more common in SNr. We analyzed the response fields of neurons in all three structures and found relatively narrow and lateralized fields early in trials (during visual and saccadic events) followed by a broadening later in trials (during reward). Our data reinforce an emerging, new consensus that the GPe and GPi, in addition to the SNr, contribute to oculomotor behavior.
Project description:The excess of 15-30 Hz (?-band) oscillations in the basal ganglia is one of the key signatures of Parkinson's disease (PD). The STN-GPe network is integral to generation and modulation of ? band oscillations in basal ganglia. However, the role of changes in the firing rates and spike bursting of STN and GPe neurons in shaping these oscillations has remained unclear. In order to uncouple their effects, we studied the dynamics of STN-GPe network using numerical simulations. In particular, we used a neuron model, in which firing rates and spike bursting can be independently controlled. Using this model, we found that while STN firing rate is predictive of oscillations, GPe firing rate is not. The effect of spike bursting in STN and GPe neurons was state-dependent. That is, only when the network was operating in a state close to the border of oscillatory and non-oscillatory regimes, spike bursting had a qualitative effect on the ? band oscillations. In these network states, an increase in GPe bursting enhanced the oscillations whereas an equivalent proportion of spike bursting in STN suppressed the oscillations. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the transient ? bursts and how duration and power of ? band oscillations may be controlled by an interplay of GPe and STN firing rates and spike bursts.
Project description:The external globus pallidus (GPe) is a key nucleus within basal ganglia circuits that are thought to be involved in action selection. A class of computational models assumes that, during action selection, the basal ganglia compute for all actions available in a given context the probabilities that they should be selected. These models suggest that a network of GPe and subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons computes the normalization term in Bayes' equation. In order to perform such computation, the GPe needs to send feedback to the STN equal to a particular function of the activity of STN neurons. However, the complex form of this function makes it unlikely that individual GPe neurons, or even a single GPe cell type, could compute it. Here, we demonstrate how this function could be computed within a network containing two types of GABAergic GPe projection neuron, so-called 'prototypic' and 'arkypallidal' neurons, that have different response properties in vivo and distinct connections. We compare our model predictions with the experimentally-reported connectivity and input-output functions (f-I curves) of the two populations of GPe neurons. We show that, together, these dichotomous cell types fulfil the requirements necessary to compute the function needed for optimal action selection. We conclude that, by virtue of their distinct response properties and connectivities, a network of arkypallidal and prototypic GPe neurons comprises a neural substrate capable of supporting the computation of the posterior probabilities of actions.
Project description:The external (GPe) and internal (GPi) segments of the primate globus pallidus receive dopamine (DA) axonal projections arising mainly from the substantia nigra pars compacta and this innervation is here described based on tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemical observations gathered in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). At the light microscopic level, unbiased stereological quantification of TH positive (+) axon varicosities reveals a similar density of innervation in the GPe (0.19 ± 0.02 × 10(6) axon varicosities/mm(3) of tissue) and GPi (0.17 ± 0.01 × 10(6)), but regional variations occur in the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes in both GPe and GPi and along the mediolateral plane in the GPe. Estimation of the neuronal population in the GPe (3.47 ± 0.15 × 10(3) neurons/mm(3)) and GPi (2.69 ± 0.18 × 10(6)) yields a mean ratio of, respectively, 28 ± 3 and 68 ± 15 TH+ axon varicosities/pallidal neuron. At the electron microscopic level, TH+ axon varicosities in the GPe appear significantly smaller than those in the GPi and very few TH+ axon varicosities are engaged in synaptic contacts in the GPe (17 ± 3%) and the GPi (15 ± 4%) compared to their unlabeled counterparts (77 ± 6 and 50 ± 12%, respectively). Genuine synaptic contacts made by TH+ axon varicosities in the GPe and GPi are of the symmetrical and asymmetrical type. Such synaptic contacts together with the presence of numerous synaptic vesicles in all TH+ axon varicosities observed in the GPe and GPi support the functionality of the DA pallidal innervation. By virtue of its predominantly volumic mode of action, DA appears to exert a key modulatory effect upon pallidal neurons in concert with the more direct GABAergic inhibitory and glutamatergic excitatory actions of the striatum and subthalamic nucleus. We argue that the DA pallidal innervation plays a major role in the functional organization of the primate basal ganglia under both normal and pathological conditions.
Project description:Studies in dopamine-depleted rats indicate that the external globus pallidus (GPe) contains two main types of GABAergic projection cell; so-called "prototypic" and "arkypallidal" neurons. Here, we used correlative anatomical and electrophysiological approaches in rats to determine whether and how this dichotomous organization applies to the dopamine-intact GPe. Prototypic neurons coexpressed the transcription factors Nkx2-1 and Lhx6, comprised approximately two-thirds of all GPe neurons, and were the major GPe cell type innervating the subthalamic nucleus (STN). In contrast, arkypallidal neurons expressed the transcription factor FoxP2, constituted just over one-fourth of GPe neurons, and innervated the striatum but not STN. In anesthetized dopamine-intact rats, molecularly identified prototypic neurons fired at relatively high rates and with high regularity, regardless of brain state (slow-wave activity or spontaneous activation). On average, arkypallidal neurons fired at lower rates and regularities than prototypic neurons, and the two cell types could be further distinguished by the temporal coupling of their firing to ongoing cortical oscillations. Complementing the activity differences observed in vivo, the autonomous firing of identified arkypallidal neurons in vitro was slower and more variable than that of prototypic neurons, which tallied with arkypallidal neurons displaying lower amplitudes of a "persistent" sodium current important for such pacemaking. Arkypallidal neurons also exhibited weaker driven and rebound firing compared with prototypic neurons. In conclusion, our data support the concept that a dichotomous functional organization, as actioned by arkypallidal and prototypic neurons with specialized molecular, structural, and physiological properties, is fundamental to the operations of the dopamine-intact GPe.
Project description:The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) present with pathological neuronal activity in the basal ganglia. Although neuronal firing rate changes in the globus pallidus internus (GPi) and externus (GPe) are reported to underlie the development of PD motor signs, firing rates change inconsistently, vary confoundingly with some therapies, and are poor indicators of symptom severity.We explored the relationship between parkinsonian symptom severity and the effectiveness with which pallidal neurons transmit information. We quantify neuronal entropy and information - alternatives to firing rate and correlations respectively - in and between GPe and GPi neurons using a progressive, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, non-human primate model of PD.Neuronal entropy and symptom severity were not linearly correlated: in both pallidal segments, entropy increased from naive to moderate parkinsonism, but decreased with further progression to the severely parkinsonian condition. In contrast, information transmitted from GPe to GPi increased consistently with symptom severity. Furthermore, antidromic information from GPi to GPe increased substantially with symptom severity. Together, these findings suggest that as parkinsonian severity increases, more and more information enters GPe and GPi from common sources, diminishing the relative importance of the orthodromic GPe to GPi connection.With parkinsonian progression, the direct and indirect pathways lose their independence and start to convey redundant information. We hypothesize that a loss of parallel processing impairs the ability of the network to select and implement motor commands, thus promoting the hypokinetic symptoms of PD.
Project description:The songbird area X is a basal ganglia homolog that contains two pallidal cell types-local neurons that project within the basal ganglia and output neurons that project to the thalamus. Based on these projections, it has been proposed that these classes are structurally homologous to the primate external (GPe) and internal (GPi) pallidal segments. To test the hypothesis that the two area X pallidal types are functionally homologous to GPe and GPi neurons, we recorded from neurons in area X of singing juvenile male zebra finches, and directly compared their firing patterns to neurons recorded in the primate pallidus. In area X, we found two cell classes that exhibited high firing (HF) rates (>60 Hz) characteristic of pallidal neurons. HF-1 neurons, like most GPe neurons we examined, exhibited large firing rate modulations, including bursts and long pauses. In contrast, HF-2 neurons, like GPi neurons, discharged continuously without bursts or long pauses. To test whether HF-2 neurons were the output neurons that project to the thalamus, we next recorded directly from pallidal axon terminals in thalamic nucleus DLM, and found that all terminals exhibited singing-related firing patterns indistinguishable from HF-2 neurons. Our data show that singing-related neural activity distinguishes two putative pallidal cell types in area X: thalamus-projecting neurons that exhibit activity similar to the primate GPi, and non-thalamus-projecting neurons that exhibit activity similar to the primate GPe. These results suggest that song learning in birds and motor learning in mammals use conserved basal ganglia signaling strategies.