Sleep spindles and spike-wave discharges in rats: Effects of thalamic lesions
SourceSleep-Wake Research in the Netherlands, 12, (2001), pp. 81-86
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
Sleep-Wake Research in the Netherlands
Outcomes from previous lesion studies suggest that the lateral thalamus including the reticular thalamic nucleus in WAG/Rij rats may contain a pacemaker for EEG oscillations in the 7-11 Hz range since a decrease in the number of spike-wave discharges (SWD) was found after lesioning this part of the thalamus (Meeren et al., 1998). However, the lesion included the caudal part of the RTN. In the present study the effects of rostral reticular thalamic lesions were made and it was investigated whether rostral RTN lesions would affect sleep spindles as well as SWD. Lesions were made with the neuro-toxicum ibotenic acid, which was aimed to the rostral pole of the reticular thalamic nucleus with a guide cannula. EEG registrations were made in freely moving rats for two hours before and three days after the lesion. The number of spike-wave discharges was reduced to an equal amount in both hemispheres after the lesion. The lesioned rats showed also a decrease in the number of anterior sleep spindles but only in the lesioned hemisphere. It can be concluded that the rostral pole of the reticular thalamic nucleus has a role in the generation of both sleep spindles and spike-wave discharges. This demonstrates for the first time that sleep spindles and spike-wave discharges are originating from the same thalamic pacemaker. This conclusion does fit in the corticoencephalic theory of Gloor and collaborators (e.g. Kostopoulos, 2000).
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