Correlated Bursts of Activity in the Neonatal Hippocampus in Vivo

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Science  14 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5575, pp. 2049-2052
DOI: 10.1126/science.1071111

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The behavior of immature cortical networks in vivo remains largely unknown. Using multisite extracellular and patch-clamp recordings, we observed recurrent bursts of synchronized neuronal activity lasting 0.5 to 3 seconds that occurred spontaneously in the hippocampus of freely moving and anesthetized rat pups. The influence of slow rhythms (0.33 and 0.1 hertz) and the contribution of both γ-aminobutyric acid A–mediated and glutamate receptor–mediated synaptic signals in the generation of hippocampal bursts was reminiscent of giant depolarizing potentials observed in vitro. This earliest pattern, which diversifies during the second postnatal week, could provide correlated activity for immature neurons and may underlie activity-dependent maturation of the hippocampal network.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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