Selective suppression of horizontal propagation in rat visual cortex by norepinephrine

Authors

  • Masayuki Kobayashi,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0874, Japan
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  • Kazuyuki Imamura,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0874, Japan
    2. Project of ‘Protecting the Brain’, CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), Japan
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  • Tokio Sugai,

    1. Department of Physiology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0265, Japan
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  • Norihiko Onoda,

    1. Department of Physiology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0265, Japan
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  • Masao Yamamoto,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0874, Japan
    2. Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Kobe University, Kusunokicho 7-5-1, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan
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  • Shoji Komai,

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0874, Japan
    2. Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Takayama-cho 8916-5, Ikoma, Nara 630-0101, Japan
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  • Yasuyoshi Watanabe

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0874, Japan
    2. Project of ‘Protecting the Brain’, CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), Japan
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: Dr K. Imamura, Department of Neuroscience, Osaka Bioscience Institute, 6-2-4 Furuedai, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0874, Japan. E-mail: imamura@obi.or.jp

Abstract

The release of norepinephrine in the cerebral cortex from axon terminals of locus coeruleus neurons was suggested to be involved in the control of attention. Accumulating data indicate that the responses of cortical neurons are varied when norepinephrine is applied iontophoretically in the vicinity of the cells being recorded. However, it is not known how the pattern of excitatory propagation is modified when norepinephrine is applied over a wide area in the visual cortex. By applying optical imaging to rat visuocortical slices, we found a new mode of norepinephrine action; a prominent suppression of the horizontal propagation in layers II/III. This action of norepinephrine was confirmed by the simultaneous recording of field potentials from multiple sites by use of a multi-electrode dish. Furthermore, our electrophysiological recordings showed that this norepinephrine action is exerted through suppression of excitatory neural transmission and enhancement of inhibitory transmission to the pyramidal neurons in these layers. Because the release of norepinephrine in the visual cortex is regulated by the level of attention, the neural basis of visual attention may relate partially to the suppression of the integration of visual information by norepinephrine resulting in a state-dependent restructuring of the receptive field.

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