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In vitro intrinsic optical imaging can be used for source determination in cortical slices

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Abstract

In the last decades intrinsic optical imaging has become a widely used technique for monitoring activity in vivo and in vitro. It is assumed that in brain slices the source of intrinsic optical signals (IOSs) is the change in light scattering caused by cell swelling or shrinkage. The aim of the present study was to find a correlation between electrical activity and parallel optical characteristics, elicited by 4-aminopyridine-containing or Mg2+-free medium in rat cortical brain slices. Electrophysiological signals and reflected light alterations were recorded during spontaneous seizure activity. Current source density (CSD) analysis was performed on the electrophysiological records. Direct correlation analysis of IOS to CSD was made, and source distribution provided by IOS and CSD methods was compared by determining Matthews correlation coefficient. The gradual development of seizure-like activity elicited the reduction of light reflectance. The main findings of our experiments are that long-term epileptiform activity resulted in persistent alteration in IOSs of brain slices. The observed IOS pattern remained stable after 1 h incubation in convulsants. The pattern of IOS shows good correlation with the data obtained from the CSD analysis. Persistent IOS changes provide information about the area-specific changes of basic excitability, which can serve as a background for ictal and interictal-like epileptiform activity. We can conclude that changes in IOSs correlate well with electrophysiological recordings under different conditions. Our experiments provide evidence that underlying synchronised neuronal processes produce parallel alterations in IOSs and electrophysiological activity.

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