Amyloid-β disrupts ongoing spontaneous activity in sensory cortex

Shlomit Beker, Miri Goldin, Noa Menkes-Caspi, Vered Kellner, Gal Chechik, Edward A. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The effect of Alzheimer’s disease pathology on activity of individual neocortical neurons in the intact neural network remains obscure. Ongoing spontaneous activity, which constitutes most of neocortical activity, is the background template on which further evoked-activity is superimposed. We compared in vivo intracellular recordings and local field potentials (LFP) of ongoing activity in the barrel cortex of APP/PS1 transgenic mice and age-matched littermate Controls, following significant amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation and aggregation. We found that membrane potential dynamics of neurons in Aβ-burdened cortex significantly differed from those of nontransgenic Controls: durations of the depolarized state were considerably shorter, and transitions to that state frequently failed. The spiking properties of APP/PS1 neurons showed alterations from those of Controls: both firing patterns and spike shape were changed in the APP/PS1 group. At the population level, LFP recordings indicated reduced coherence within neuronal assemblies of APP/PS1 mice. In addition to the physiological effects, we show that morphology of neurites within the barrel cortex of the APP/PS1 model is altered compared to Controls. These results are consistent with a process where the effect of Aβ on spontaneous activity of individual neurons amplifies into a network effect, reducing network integrity and leading to a wide cortical dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1188
Number of pages16
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Firing patterns
  • LFP
  • Membrane potential
  • Plaques
  • Synaptic summation


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