January 18, 2021

Cortical layer-specific modulation of neuronal activity after sensory deprivation due to spinal cord injury

Cortical areas have the capacity of large-scale reorganization following sensory deprivation. However, it remains unclear whether this is a unique process that homogenously affects the entire deprived region or it is suitable to changes depending on local circuitries across layers. By using in vivo electrophysiology to record neuronal activity simultaneously across cortical depth, we showed that sensory deprivation due to spinal cord injury induces layer-specific changes in both spontaneous and evoked-activity. While supragranular layers specifically increased gamma oscillations and the ability to initiate up-states during spontaneous activity, infragranular layers displayed increased, faster and delayed evoked-responses to sensory stimulation. Therefore, sensory deprivation immediately modifies local circuitries allowing supragranular layers to better integrate spontaneous corticocortical information to maintain column excitability, and infragranular layers to better integrate evoked-sensory inputs to preserve subcortical outputs. These layer-specific changes may guide long-term alterations in excitability and plasticity associated to network rearrangements and the appearance of sensory pathologies associated with spinal cord injury.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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