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    Objective.The temporal spacing or distribution of stimulation pulses in therapeutic neurostimulation waveforms-referred to here as the Temporal Pattern (TP)-has emerged as an important parameter for tuning the response to deep-brain stimulation and intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). While it has long been assumed that modulating the TP of ICMS may be effective by altering the rate coding of the neural response, it is unclear how it alters the neural response at the network level. The present study is designed to elucidate the neural response to TP at the network level.Approach. We usein vivotwo-photon imaging of mice expressing the calcium sensorThy1-GCaMP or the glutamate sensorhSyn-iGluSnFr to examine the layer II/III neural response to ICMS with different TPs. We study the neuronal calcium and glutamate response to TPs with the same average frequency (10 Hz) and same total charge injection, but varying degrees of bursting. We also investigate one control pattern with an average frequency of 100 Hz and 10X the charge injection.Main Results. Stimulation trains with the same average frequency and same total charge injection but distinct TPs recruit distinct sets of neurons. More than half (60% of 309 cells) of neurons prefer one TP over the other. Despite their distinct spatial recruitment patterns, cells exhibit similar ability to follow 30 s trains of both TPs without failing, and they exhibit similar levels of glutamate release during stimulation. Both neuronal calcium and glutamate release entrain to the bursting TP pattern, with a ∼21-fold increase in relative power at the frequency of bursting. Bursting also results in a statistically significant elevation in the correlation between somatic calcium activity and neuropil activity, which we explore as a metric for inhibitory-excitatory tone. Interestingly, soma-neuropil correlation during the bursting pattern is a statistically significant predictor of cell preference for TP, which exposes a key link between TP and inhibitory-excitatory tone. Finally, using mesoscale imaging, we show that both TPs result in distal inhibition during stimulation, which reveals complex spatial and temporal interactions between TP and inhibitory-excitatory tone in ICMS.Significance. Our results may ultimately suggest that TP is a valuable parameter space to modulate inhibitory-excitatory tone and to recruit distinct network activity in ICMS. This presents a broader mechanism of action than rate coding, as previously thought. By implicating these additional mechanisms, TP may have broader utility in the clinic and should be pursued to expand the efficacy of ICMS therapies. © 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd.


    James R Eles, Kevin C Stieger, Takashi D Y Kozai. The temporal pattern of intracortical microstimulation pulses elicits distinct temporal and spatial recruitment of cortical neuropil and neurons. Journal of neural engineering. 2021 Jan 25;18(1)

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    PMID: 33075762

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