© 2017 IBRO The rodent parafascicular nucleus (PFn) or the centromedian-parafascicular complex of primates is a posterior intralaminar nucleus of the thalamus related to cortical activation and maintenance of states of consciousness underlying attention, learning and memory. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the PFn has been proved to restore arousal and consciousness in humans and to enhance performance in learning and memory tasks in rats. The primary expected effect of PFn DBS is to induce plastic changes in target neurons of brain areas associated with cognitive function. In this study, Wistar rats were stimulated for 20 mins in the PFn following a DBS protocol that had previously facilitated memory in rats. NMDA and GABAB receptor binding, and gene expression of the GluN1subunit of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) were assessed in regions related to cognitive functions, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The results showed that PFn DBS induced a decrease in NMDAR GluN1 subunit gene expression in the cingulate and prelimbic cortices, but no significant statistical differences were found in the density of NMDA or GABAB receptors in any of the analyzed regions. Taken together, our findings suggest a possible role for the NMDAR GluN1 subunit in the prefrontal cortex in the procognitive actions of the PFn DBS.
|Publication status||Published - 21 Apr 2017|
- cingulated cortex
- electrical stimulation
- prelimbic cortex