Closed-Loop Control of Dentate Inhibitory Timing in Healthy and Epileptic Mice

  • Christenson Wick, Zoe (PI)

Project Details


Temporal lobe epilepsy is a debilitating and pervasive disorder that is characterized not only by seizures which typically emerge from the hippocampus but also by severe memory impairments. Patients with TLE report that the potential for memory problems is of greatest concern to them. The relationship between seizures themselves and the memory deficits associated with temporal lobe epilepsy is complex and nuanced. Though the cause of seizures and memory deficits is unknown, rodent models can be used to study this complicated relationship. This proposal will investigate a breakdown that occurs in the spike timing of a subset of interneurons in the dentate gyrus of epileptic animals. Prior literature strongly supports the notion that altered dentate inhibition may contribute to seizures and to memory deficits, but this has not been directly shown. In this proposal, I will test the hypothesis that this breakdown in dentate inhibitory timing contributes directly to the memory deficits seen in epilepsy and, separately, contributes to seizures. To test this hypothesis, I will use in vivo silicon probes to record LFPs and single-units simultaneously in CA1 and the dentate gyrus and will apply a closed-loop optogenetic stimulation protocol to control dentate parvalbumin-expressing interneuron firing. This closed-loop optogenetic stimulation protocol is innovative and exciting, as it will alter the firing patterns of specific inhibitory neurons in the dentate gyrus relative to various phases of the CA1 theta cycle, rather than manipulate cell firing at the time of seizures themselves. These manipulations will be done in epileptic and healthy animals so that we will not only determine the effects of precise interneuron firing in the pathological hippocampus, but also in the healthy hippocampus. Together, these aims will use state-of-the-art recording and manipulation techniques to gain new insights into the cause of cognitive deficits and seizures.
Effective start/end date1/12/2021/04/23


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: $66,390.00
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: $34,887.00
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: $33,195.00


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