Somatosensory cortical processing in the mouse forepaw system
The primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is composed of six layers (L1L6). The coordination of neural activities across six layers of cortical neurons is essential for reliable sensory perception and the control of voluntary behavior. However, the synaptic neural mechanisms governing translaminar cortical processing in behaving animals are still unknown. I made in vivo single and dual whole cell recordings in mouse forepaw SI, my work revealed that L2/3 and L5 pyramidal neurons have distinct
... have distinct intrinsic properties and membrane potential dynamics during forepaw behavior. Dual recordings showed that sensory and movement evoked synaptic inputs were closely correlated across layers, but low frequency subthreshold fluctuations and spontaneous action potentials exhibited a laminar specific temporal profile. At longer time scales, my data showed that spontaneous forepaw movement evoked a decorrelation of subthreshold activity across layers. Furthermore, L5 pyramidal neurons signaled sensory evoked and spontaneous forepaw movements more strangely than L2/3 neurons. Overall, my work suggests that laminar differences in the timing of action potential firing, subthreshold synchrony and mean firing rates are dependent both on the origin of the underlying synaptic input and the behavioral outcome of the event. In addition, I identified that forepaw SI neurons respond to mild cooling stimulation of the forepaw and that this response is mediated by the Transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8 (TRPM8) in primary sensory afferent neurons.