Dynamic communications between GABA A switch, local connectivity, and synapses during cortical development: A computational study

Radwa Khalil*, Ahmed A. Karim, Eman Khedr, Marie Moftah, Ahmed A. Moustafa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Several factors regulate cortical development, such as changes in local connectivity and the influences of dynamical synapses. In this study, we simulated various factors affecting the regulation of neural network activity during cortical development. Previous studies have shown that during early cortical development, the reversal potential of GABA A shifts from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing. Here we provide the first integrative computational model to simulate the combined effects of these factors in a unified framework (building on our prior work: Khalil et al., 2017a,b). In the current study, we extend our model to monitor firing activity in response to the excitatory action of GABA A . Precisely, we created a Spiking Neural Network model that included certain biophysical parameters for lateral connectivity (distance between adjacent neurons) and nearby local connectivity (complex connections involving those between neuronal groups). We simulated different network scenarios (for immature and mature conditions) based on these biophysical parameters. Then, we implemented two forms of Short-term synaptic plasticity (depression and facilitation). Each form has two distinct kinds according to its synaptic time constant value. Finally, in both sets of networks, we compared firing rate activity responses before and after simulating dynamical synapses. Based on simulation results, we found that the modulation effect of dynamical synapses for evaluating and shaping the firing activity of the neural network is strongly dependent on the physiological state of GABA A . Moreover, the STP mechanism acts differently in every network scenario, mirroring the crucial modulating roles of these critical parameters during cortical development. Clinical implications for pathological alterations of GABAergic signaling in neurological and psychiatric disorders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number468
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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