On the role of arkypallidal and prototypical neurons for phase transitions in the external pallidum

Richard Gast*, Ruxue Gong, Helmut Schmidt, Hil G.E. Meijer, Thomas Knosche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The external pallidum (GPe) plays a central role for basal ganglia functions and dynamics and, consequently, has been included in most computational studies of the basal ganglia. These studies considered the GPe as a homogeneous neural population. However, experimental studies have shown that the GPe contains at least two distinct cell types (prototypical and arkypallidal cells). In this work, we provide in silico insight into how pallidal heterogeneity modulates dynamic regimes inside the GPe and how they affect the GPe response to oscillatory input.

We derive a mean-field model of the GPe system from a microscopic spiking neural network of recurrently coupled prototypical and arkypallidal neurons. Using bifurcation analysis, we examine the influence of dopamine-dependent changes of intra-pallidal connectivity on the GPe dynamics. We find that increased self-inhibition of prototypical cells can induce oscillations, whereas increased inhibition of prototypical cells by arkypallidal cells leads to the emergence of a bi-stable regime. Furthermore, we show that oscillatory input to the GPe, arriving from striatum, leads to characteristic patterns of cross-frequency coupling observed at the GPe. Based on these findings, we propose two different hypotheses of how dopamine depletion at the GPe may lead to phase-amplitude coupling between the parkinsonian beta rhythm and a GPe-intrinsic gamma rhythm. Finally, we show that these findings generalize to realistic spiking neural networks of sparsely coupled type-I excitable GPe neurons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6673-6683
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neuroscience
Issue number31
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021


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