Gamma oscillations in V1 are correlated with GABAA receptor density: A multi-modal MEG and Flumazenil-PET study

Jan Kujala, Julien Jung, Sandrine Bouvard, Francoise Lecaignard, Amélie Lothe, Romain Bouet, Carolina Ciumas, Philippe RYvlin, Karim Jerbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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High-frequency oscillations in the gamma-band reflect rhythmic synchronization of spike timing in active neural networks. The modulation of gamma oscillations is a widely established mechanism in a variety of neurobiological processes, yet its neurochemical basis is not fully understood. Modeling, in-vitro and in-vivo animal studies suggest that gamma oscillation properties depend on GABAergic inhibition. In humans, search for evidence linking total GABA concentration to gamma oscillations has led to promising -but also to partly diverging- observations. Here, we provide the first evidence of a direct relationship between the density of GABAA receptors and gamma oscillatory gamma responses in human primary visual cortex (V1). By combining Flumazenil-PET (to measure resting-levels of GABAA receptor density) and MEG (to measure visually-induced gamma oscillations), we found that GABAA receptor densities correlated positively with the frequency and negatively with amplitude of visually-induced gamma oscillations in V1. Our findings demonstrate that gamma-band response profiles of primary visual cortex across healthy individuals are shaped by GABAA-receptor-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission. These results bridge the gap with in-vitro and animal studies and may have future clinical implications given that altered GABAergic function, including dysregulation of GABAA receptors, has been related to psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and depression.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16347
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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