Intracellular analysis of relations between the slow (< 1 Hz) neocortical oscillation and other sleep rhythms of the electroencephalogram

J Neurosci. 1993 Aug;13(8):3266-83. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.13-08-03266.1993.


The newly described slow cortical rhythm (approximately 0.3 Hz), whose depolarizing-hyperpolarizing components are analyzed in the preceding article, is now investigated from the standpoint of its relations with delta (1-4 Hz) and spindle (7-14 Hz) rhythmicity. Regular-spiking and intrinsically bursting cortical neurons were mostly recorded from association suprasylvian areas 5 and 7; fewer neurons were also recorded from pericruciate motor and posterolateral visual areas. Although most cells were investigated under various anesthetics, a similar slow cortical rhythm was found in animals with brainstem transection at the low- or high-collicular levels. These cerveau isolé (isolated forebrain) preparations display the major sleep rhythms of the EEG in the absence of general anesthetics. In 38% of recorded cortical neurons (n = 105), the slow rhythm was combined with delta oscillation. Both cellular rhythms were phase locked to the slow and delta oscillations in the surface- and depth-recorded EEG. In a group of this cell sample (n = 47), delta activity occurred as stereotyped, clock-like action potentials during the interdepolarization lulls of the slow rhythm. In another neuronal subsample (n = 58), delta events were grouped in sequences superimposed upon the depolarizing envelope of the slow rhythm, with such sequences recurring rhythmically at approximately 0.3-0.4 Hz. The associations between the two cellular and EEG rhythms (1-4 Hz and 0.3-0.4 Hz) were quantified by means of autocorrelograms, cross-correlograms, and spike-triggered averages. In 26% of recorded neurons (n = 72), the slow rhythm was combined with spindle oscillations. Regular-spiking cortical neurons fully reflected the whole frequency range of thalamically generated spindles (7-14 Hz). However, during similar patterns of EEG spindling, intrinsically bursting cells fired grouped action potentials (with intraburst frequencies of 100-200 Hz) at only 2-4 Hz. The dependence of the slow cortical oscillation upon the thalamus was studied by lesions and stimulation. The slow rhythm survived extensive ipsilateral thalamic destruction by means of electrolytic lesions or kainate-induced loss of perikarya in thalamic nuclei that were input sources to the recorded cortical neurons. To further prevent the possibility of a thalamic role in the genesis of the slow rhythm, through the contralateral thalamocortical systems and callosal projections, we also transected the corpus callosum in thalamically lesioned animals, and still recorded the slow rhythm in cortical neurons. These data indicate that the thalamus is not essentially implicated in the genesis of the slow rhythm.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Corpus Callosum / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electrolysis
  • Electrophysiology
  • Humans
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology
  • Ketamine / pharmacology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Periodicity
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Thalamus / drug effects
  • Thalamus / physiology
  • Urethane / pharmacology


  • Urethane
  • Ketamine
  • Kainic Acid