Ex vivo cultured neuronal networks emit in vivo-like spontaneous activity

J Physiol Sci. 2014 Nov;64(6):421-31. doi: 10.1007/s12576-014-0337-4. Epub 2014 Sep 11.


Spontaneous neuronal activity is present in virtually all brain regions, but neither its function nor spatiotemporal patterns are fully understood. Ex vivo organotypic slice cultures may offer an opportunity to investigate some aspects of spontaneous activity, because they self-restore their networks that collapsed during slicing procedures. In hippocampal networks, we compared the levels and patterns of in vivo spontaneous activity to those in acute and cultured slices. We found that the firing rates and excitatory synaptic activity in the in vivo hippocampus are more similar to those in slice cultures compared to acute slices. The soft confidence-weighted algorithm, a machine learning technique without human bias, also revealed that hippocampal slice cultures resemble the in vivo hippocampus in terms of the overall tendency of the parameters of spontaneous activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Synapses / physiology