This study evaluated the spectral characteristics of neuronal discharges in the caudal hypoglossal nucleus and their physiological relevance in adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats which were anaesthetized and maintained with pentobarbital sodium. Based on auto-spectral analysis of extracellular single-neuron activity, three spectral patterns were identified in the spontaneous discharges of hypoglossal neurons. Neurons that exhibited a rhythmic pattern manifested a concentrated peak in the auto-spectrogram that corresponded to the mean discharge rate. A majority of hypoglossal neurons displayed the modulated pattern, which was manifested either as scattered power densities (wide-band modulated pattern) or with a peak frequency component that was different from the mean discharge rate (narrow-band modulated pattern). Neurons that exhibited a mixed pattern displayed both rhythmic and modulated spectral patterns. Cross-spectral analysis further revealed that respiratory modulation constituted a major physiological influence on caudal hypoglossal neurons. The respiratory modulated pattern, however, could be converted to a mixed pattern in the presence of a central dipsogen, angiotensin III. The results suggest that the spectral patterns of neuronal discharges in caudal hypoglossal neurons represent manifestations of multiple physiological information, including that regarding respiration and dipsogenesis, which is encoded in these neurons. It was also shown that this information may only be revealed by auto-spectral and cross-spectral analysis of neuronal discharge signals.
- auto-spectral and cross-spectral analysis
- hypoglossal neuron
- interchangeable spectral patterns
- physiological modulation
- single-neuronal discharge
ASJC Scopus subject areas