Resonant antidromic cortical circuit activation as a consequence of high-frequency subthalamic deep-brain stimulation

J Neurophysiol. 2007 Dec;98(6):3525-37. doi: 10.1152/jn.00808.2007. Epub 2007 Oct 10.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) for many patients. The most effective stimulation consists of high-frequency biphasic stimulation pulses around 130 Hz delivered between two active sites of an implanted depth electrode to the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS). Multiple studies have shown that a key effect of STN-DBS that correlates well with clinical outcome is the reduction of synchronous and oscillatory activity in cortical and basal ganglia networks. We hypothesized that antidromic cortical activation may provide an underlying mechanism responsible for this effect, because stimulation is usually performed in proximity to cortical efferent pathways. We show with intracellular cortical recordings in rats that STN-DBS did in fact lead to antidromic spiking of deep layer cortical neurons. Furthermore, antidromic spikes triggered a dampened oscillation of local field potentials in cortex with a resonant frequency around 120 Hz. The amplitude of antidromic activation was significantly correlated with an observed suppression of slow wave and beta band activity during STN-DBS. These findings were seen in ketamine-xylazine or isoflurane anesthesia in both normal and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rats. Thus antidromic resonant activation of cortical microcircuits may make an important contribution toward counteracting the overly synchronous and oscillatory activity characteristic of cortical activity in PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Oxidopamine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Sympathectomy, Chemical
  • Sympatholytics


  • Sympatholytics
  • Oxidopamine