May 18, 2021

Beta bursting in the retrosplenial cortex is a neurophysiological correlate of environmental novelty which is disrupted in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

<p>The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) plays a significant role in spatial learning and memory, and is functionally disrupted in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. In order to investigate neurophysiological correlates of spatial learning and memory in this region we employed in vivo electrophysiology in awake, behaving mice, comparing neural activity between wild-type and J20 mice, a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease-associated amyloidopathy. To determine the response of the RSC to environmental novelty local field potentials were recorded while mice explored novel and familiar recording arenas. In familiar environments we detected short, phasic bursts of beta (20-30 Hz) oscillations (beta bursts) which arose at a low but steady rate. Exposure to a novel environment rapidly initiated a dramatic increase in the rate, size and duration of beta bursts. Additionally, theta-beta cross-frequency coupling was significantly higher during novelty, and spiking of neurons in the RSC was significantly enhanced during beta bursts. Finally, aberrant beta bursting was seen in J20 mice, including increased beta bursting during novelty and familiarity, yet a loss of coupling between beta bursts and spiking activity. These findings, support the concept that beta bursting may be responsible for the activation and reactivation of neuronal ensembles underpinning the formation and maintenance of cortical representations, and that disruptions to this activity in J20 mice may underlie cognitive impairments seen in these animals.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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