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Deep brain stimulation of the ventral striatum is an effective treatment for a variety of treatment refractory psychiatric disorders yet the mechanism of action remains elusive. We examined how five days of stimulation affected rhythmic brain activity in freely moving rats in terms of oscillatory power within, and coherence between, selected limbic regions bilaterally. Custom made bipolar stimulating/recording electrodes were implanted, bilaterally, in the nucleus accumbens core. Local field potential (LFP) recording electrodes were implanted, bilaterally in the prelimbic and orbitofrontal cortices and mediodorsal thalamic nucleus. Stimulation was delivered bilaterally with 100 μs duration constant current pulses at a frequency of 130 Hz delivered at an amplitude of 100 μA using a custom-made stimulation device. Synchronized video and LFP data were collected from animals in their home cages before, during and after stimulation. Signals were processed to remove movement and stimulation artifacts, and analyzed to determine changes in spectral power within, and coherence between regions. Five days stimulation of the nucleus accumbens core yielded temporally dynamic modulation of LFP power in multiple bandwidths across multiple brain regions. Coherence was seen to decrease in the alpha band between the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and core of the nucleus accumbens. Coherence between each core of the nucleus accumbens bilaterally showed rich temporal dynamics throughout the five day stimulation period. Stimulation cessation revealed significant “rebound” effects in both power and coherence in multiple brain regions. Overall, the initial changes in power observed with short-term stimulation are replaced by altered coherence, which may reflect the functional action of DBS.
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