In the mammalian primary visual cortex (V1), lateral spreading of excitatory potentials is believed to be involved in spatial integrative functions, but the underlying cortical mechanism is not well understood. Visually-evoked population-level responses have been shown to propagate beyond the V1 initial activation site in mouse, similar to higher mammals. Visually-evoked responses are, however, affected by neuronal circuits prior to V1 (retina, LGN), making the separate analysis of V1 difficult. Intracortical stimulation eliminates these initial processing steps. We used in vivo RH1691 voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging and intracortical microstimulation in adult C57BL/6 mice to elucidate the spatiotemporal properties of population-level signal spreading in V1 cortical circuits. The evoked response was qualitatively similar to that measured in single-cell electrophysiological experiments in rodents: a fast transient fluorescence peak followed by a fast and a slow decrease or hyperpolarization, similar to EPSP and fast and slow IPSPs in single cells. The early cortical response expanded at speeds commensurate with long horizontal projections (at 5% of the peak maximum, 0.08–0.15 m/s) however, the bulk of the VSD signal propagated slowly (at half-peak maximum, 0.05–0.08 m/s) suggesting an important role of regenerative multisynaptic transmission through short horizontal connections in V1 spatial integrative functions. We also found a tendency for a widespread and fast cortical response suppression in V1, which was eliminated by GABA A -antagonists gabazine and bicuculline methiodide. Our results help understand the neuronal circuitry involved in lateral spreading in V1.
Fehérvári, T. D., Okazaki, Y., Sawai, H., & Yagi, T. (2015). In vivo voltage-sensitive dye study of lateral spreading of cortical activity in mouse primary visual cortex induced by a current impulse. PLoS ONE, 10(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0133853