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Longitudinal Monitoring of Prefrontal Cortical Ensemble Dynamics Reveals New Insights into Stress Habituation

Longitudinal monitoring of prefrontal cortical ensemble dynamics

Authors: Sachin Patel, Keenan Johnson, Danielle Adank, Luis E. Rosas-Vidal
Publication: Neurobiology of Stress
Date: September 3, 2022
Link to article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235228952200056X


The prefrontal cortex is highly susceptible to the detrimental effects of stress and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of stress-related psychiatric disorders. It is not well understood, however, how stress is represented at the neuronal level in the prefrontal cortical neuronal ensembles. Even less understood is how the representation of stress changes over time with repeated exposure. Here we show that the prelimbic prefrontal neuronal ensemble representation of foot shock stress exhibits rapid spatial drift within and between sessions. Despite this rapid spatial drift of the ensemble, the representation of the stressor itself stabilizes over days. Our results suggest that stress is represented by rapidly drifting ensembles and despite this rapid drift, important features of the neuronal representation are stabilized, suggesting a neural correlate of stress habituation is present within prefrontal cortical neuron populations.

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