Despite the undisputed therapeutic success of deep brain stimulation (DBS), little is known about the detailed changes in the circuitry of treated neuronal networks. Clinical observations suggest that chronic stimulation may induce plastic changes in participating microcircuits. Classical therapeutic protocols use ongoing stimulation frequencies above 100 Hz, a stimulation paradigm often used to induce lasting plasticity at glutamatergic synapses in various brain regions.
Thus, it is likely that DBS of the hyperdirect pathway leads to lasting plasticity of the stimulated neuronal networks. Here, we propose to study motor cortex plasticity using DBS-like in vitro and in vivo stimulation of the hyperdirect pathway in both untreated and treated mice as a model for DBS-induced microcircuit plasticity.