Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has been widely used as a treatment for the movement disturbances caused by Parkinson's disease (PD). Despite successful application of DBS, its mechanism of therapeutic effect is not clearly understood. Because PD results from the degeneration of dopamine neurons that affect the basal ganglia (BG) network, investigation of neuronal responses of BG neurons during STN DBS can provide informative insights for the understanding of the mechanism of therapeutic effect. However, it is difficult to observe neuronal activity during DBS because of large stimulation artifacts. Here, we report the observation of neuronal activities of the globus pallidus (GP) in normal and PD model rats during electrical stimulation of the STN. A custom artifact removal technique was devised to enable monitoring of neural activity during stimulation. We investigated how GP neurons responded to STN stimulation at various stimulation frequencies (10, 50, 90 and 130 Hz). It was observed that activities of GP neurons were modulated by stimulation frequency of the STN and significantly inhibited by high frequency stimulation above 50 Hz. These findings suggest that GP neuronal activity is effectively modulated by STN stimulation and strongly dependent on the frequency of stimulation.
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