NeuroReport 5: 2217-2220, 1994
Compartmental models of thalamic reticular (RE) neurons were investigated based on current-clamp and voltage-clamp data. Spontaneous oscillations in the model arise from the interaction between inhibitory synaptic currents and the rebound burst of RE cells. These oscillations critically depend on the level of the resting membrane potential. A network of RE neurons can be switched between silent and sustained oscillatory behavior by modulating a leak potassium current through neuromodulatory synapses. These results suggest that neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, serotonin and glutamate, can exert a decisive control over the oscillatory activity of systems of RE cells. The model may explain why the isolated RE nucleus oscillates spontaneously in vivo but not in vitro.