Abstract

Repeated, daily tetanization of the corpus callosum induces lasting changes in sensorimotor cortex field potential responses, but the synaptic populations that mediate these responses and support long-term potentiation (LTP) have not been characterized. Current source density analyses of field responses were compared between control animals and those in which LTP was induced by 10 daily series of tetanizations. Tetanization and paired-pulse stimulation (100 ms interval) enhanced the duration of initial (approximately 3 ms onset) deep-negative population spike activity generated by a current sink in layer V that peaked repeatedly at a frequency of approximately 400 Hz. The early (approximately 10 ms to peak) surface-negative component of field responses was generated by a current sink in upper layer V and a source in layer VI. This monosynaptic component followed high stimulation frequencies, recovered quickly from the effects of anaesthesia, and was enhanced by both tetanization and paired-pulse stimulation. The late (approximately 20 ms to peak) surface-negative component was generated by a sink in upper layer V and a source deep in layer V, and was greatly enhanced by tetanization and paired-pulse stimulation. The late component did not follow high-frequency stimulation and recovered slowly from anaesthesia, suggesting that it is driven polysynaptically. Potentiation of monosynaptic thalamic and cortico-cortical afferents probably mediates enhancements of the early component and population spikes, while potentiation of polysynaptic afferents to layer V may contribute to growth in the late component.