Stimulus-evoked high frequency oscillations are present in neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays

Chadwick M. Hales, Riley Zeller-Townson, Jonathan P. Newman, James T. Shoemaker, Nathan J. Killian, Steve M. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Pathological high frequency oscillations (250-600 Hz) are present in the brains of epileptic animals and humans. The etiology of these oscillations and how they contribute to the diseased state remains unclear. This work identifies the presence of microstimulation-evoked high frequency oscillations (250-400 Hz) in dissociated neuronal networks cultured on microelectrode arrays (MEAs). Oscillations are more apparent with higher stimulus voltages. As with in vivo studies, activity is isolated to a single electrode, however, the MEA provides improved spatial resolution with no spread of the oscillation to adjacent electrodes 200 μm away. Oscillations develop across four weeks in vitro. Oscillations still occur in the presence of tetrodotoxin and synaptic blockers, and they cause no apparent disruption in the ability of oscillation-presenting electrodes to elicit directly evoked action potentials (dAPs) or promote the spread of synaptic activity throughout the culture. Chelating calcium with ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) causes a temporal prolongation of the oscillation. Finally, carbenoxolone significantly reduces or eliminates the high frequency oscillations. Gap junctions may play a significant role in maintaining the oscillation given the inhibitory effect of carbenoxolone, the propagating effect of reduced calcium conditions and the isolated nature of the activity as demonstrated in previous studies. This is the first demonstration of stimulus-evoked high frequency oscillations in dissociated cultures. Unlike current models that rely on complex in vivo recording conditions, this work presents a simple controllable model in neuronal cultures on MEAs to further investigate how the oscillations occur at the molecular level and how they may contribute to the pathophysiology of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Issue numberMAY2012
StatePublished - May 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbenoxolone
  • Gap junction
  • MEA
  • Microelectrode
  • Microstimulation
  • Multielectrode array
  • NeuroRighter
  • Oscillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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