Ten-Hour Exposure to Low-Dose Ketamine Enhances Corticostriatal Cross-Frequency Coupling and Hippocampal Broad-Band Gamma Oscillations

Tony Ye, Mitchell J. Bartlett, Matthew B. Schmit, Scott J. Sherman, Torsten Falk, Stephen L. Cowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease are characterized by hypersynchronous neural oscillations. Sub-anesthetic ketamine is effective at treating these conditions, and this may relate to ketamine’s capacity to reorganize oscillatory activity throughout the brain. For example, a single ketamine injection increases gamma (∼40 Hz) and high-frequency oscillations (HFOs, 120–160 Hz) in the cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. While the effects of single injections have been investigated, clinical ketamine treatments can involve 5-h up to 3-day sub-anesthetic infusions. Little is known about the effects of such prolonged exposure on neural synchrony. We hypothesized that hours-long exposure entrains circuits that generate HFOs so that HFOs become sustained after ketamine’s direct effects on receptors subside. Methods: Local-field recordings were acquired from motor cortex (M1), striatum, and hippocampus of behaving rats (n = 8), and neural responses were measured while rats received 5 ketamine injections (20 mg/kg, i.p., every 2 h, 10-h exposure). In a second experiment, the same animals received injections of D1-receptor antagonist (SCH-23390, 1 mg/kg, i.p.) prior to ketamine injection to determine if D1 receptors were involved in producing HFOs. Results: Although HFOs remained stable throughout extended ketamine exposure, broad-band high-frequency activity (40–140 Hz) in the hippocampus and delta-HFO cross-frequency coupling (CFC) in dorsal striatum increased with the duration of exposure. Furthermore, while ketamine-triggered HFOs were not affected by D1 receptor blockade, ketamine-associated gamma in motor cortex was suppressed, suggesting involvement of D1 receptors in ketamine-mediated gamma activity in motor cortex. Conclusion: Prolonged ketamine exposure does not enhance HFOs in corticostriatal circuits, but, instead, enhances coordination between low and high frequencies in the striatum and reduces synchrony in the hippocampus. Increased striatal CFC may facilitate spike-timing dependent plasticity, resulting in lasting changes in motor activity. In contrast, the observed wide-band high-frequency “noise” in the hippocampus suggests that ketamine disrupts action-potential timing and reorganizes connectivity in this region. Differential restructuring of corticostriatal and limbic circuits may contribute to ketamine’s clinical benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalFrontiers in neural circuits
StatePublished - Aug 13 2018


  • Cross-frequency coupling
  • Depression
  • Gamma
  • High-frequency oscillation
  • Levodopa-induced dyskinesia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Ten-Hour Exposure to Low-Dose Ketamine Enhances Corticostriatal Cross-Frequency Coupling and Hippocampal Broad-Band Gamma Oscillations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this