MEA-based recording of neuronal activity in vitro.

Y. Jimbo


Based on the advantages of MEA-based recording, developmental changes of spontaneous activity and tetanus-induced modification of evoked activity were studied. Rat cortical neurons were cultured on MEAs and the spontaneous activity was continuously monitored for two months. The activity started a few days after plating. During the second week, the cultures generated periodic synchronized bursts, which were the characteristic properties of cortical neurons in vitro. In about one month, the cultured networks reached a steady state. Between these two, we found a critical period during which only weak activities were generated. This critical period might reflect the transition from immature networks to mature networks including precisely controlled excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We could elicit clear evoked responses with high reproducibility in mature cultures. A focal tetanic stimulation was applied to the mature cultures and how the tetanus affects 64 kinds of evoked activity was studied. The evoked responses showed bi-directional changes in their propagation patterns, potentiation and depression. These induced changes reflected the correlation properties with the tetanized activity pattern. The next step will be the combination of long-term recording and multi-site stimulation. How long does the induced change last, as well as how additional strong activity affects the previously induced changes, will be studied.

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