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Title: Decreased chaos of midbrain dopaminergic neurons after serotonin denervation
Authors: Mascio, Michele di
Di Giovanni, Giuseppe
Matteo, Vincenzo di
Esposito, Ennio
Keywords: Electrophysiology
Ventral tegmental area
Dopamine agents
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Citation: Di Mascio, M., Di Giovanni, G., Di Matteo, V., & Esposito, E. (1999). Decreased chaos of midbrain dopaminergic neurons after serotonin denervation. Neuroscience, 92(1), 237-243.
Abstract: Neuropharmacological investigations aimed at understanding the electrophysiological correlates between drug effect and action potential trains have usually been carried out with the analysis of firing rate and bursting activity. In this study, a selective alteration of neural circuits providing inputs to ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons has been produced, and the corresponding electrophysiological correlates have been investigated by nonlinear dynamical analysis. The nonlinear prediction method combined with Gaussian-scaled surrogate data has been used to show the chaotic structure in the time-series corresponding to the electrical activity of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons, extracellularly recorded in vivo. A decrease in chaos of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons was found in a group of rats lesioned with 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, a neurotoxin which selectively destroys serotonergic terminals. The chaos content of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons in the control group and the decrease of chaos in the lesioned group cannot be explained in terms of standard characteristics of neuronal activity (firing rate, bursting activity). Moreover, in the control group a positive correlation has been found between the density-power-spectrum of the interspike intervals and the chaos content measured by nonlinear prediction S score; this relation was lost in the lesioned group. It is concluded that the impaired serotonergic tone induced by 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine reduces the chaotic behaviour of the dopaminergic cell firing pattern, while retaining many standard interspike interval characteristics. The functional role of this behaviour in a neuronal coding problem context and the implications for the pathophysiology of some mental disorders are discussed.
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