Spontaneous periodic synchronized bursting during formation of mature patterns of connections in cortical cultures

Neurosci Lett. 1996 Mar 15;206(2-3):109-12. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(96)12448-4.


Long-term recording of spontaneous activity in cultured cortical neuronal networks was carried out using substrates containing multi-electrode arrays. Spontaneous uncorrelated firing appeared within the first 3 days and transformed progressively into synchronized bursting within a week. By 30 days from the establishment of the culture, the network exhibited a complicated non-periodic, synchronized activity pattern which showed no changes for more than 2 months and thus represented the mature state of the network. Pharmacological inhibition of activity only during the period when regular synchronized bursting was observed was capable of producing a different mature activity pattern from the control. These results suggest that periodic synchronized bursting plays a critical role in the development of synaptic connections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate / pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione / pharmacology
  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • GABA Agonists / pharmacology
  • Muscimol / pharmacology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Periodicity*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • GABA Agonists
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Muscimol
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate