The striatum and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) constitute the input stage of the basal ganglia (BG) network and together innervate BG downstream structures using GABA and glutamate, respectively. Comparison of the neuronal activity in BG input and downstream structures reveals that subthalamic, not striatal, activity fluctuations correlate with modulations in the increase/decrease discharge balance of BG downstream neurons during temporal discounting classical condition task. After induction of parkinsonism with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), abnormal low beta (8-15 Hz) spiking and local field potential (LFP) oscillations resonate across the BG network. Nevertheless, LFP beta oscillations entrain spiking activity of STN, striatal cholinergic interneurons and BG downstream structures, but do not entrain spiking activity of striatal projection neurons. Our results highlight the pivotal role of STN divergent projections in BG physiology and pathophysiology and may explain why STN is such an effective site for invasive treatment of advanced Parkinson's disease and other BG-related disorders.
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