Sensitivity of the S1 neuronal calcium network to insulin and Bay-K 8644 in vivo: Relationship to gait, motivation, and aging processes

Ruei Lung Lin, Hilaree N. Frazier, Katie L. Anderson, Sami L. Case, Adam O. Ghoweri, Olivier Thibault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Neuronal hippocampal Ca2+ dysregulation is a critical component of cognitive decline in brain aging and Alzheimer's disease and is suggested to impact communication and excitability through the activation of a larger after hyperpolarization. However, few studies have tested for the presence of Ca2+ dysregulation in vivo, how it manifests, and whether it impacts network function across hundreds of neurons. Here, we tested for neuronal Ca2+ network dysregulation in vivo in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of anesthetized young and aged male Fisher 344 rats using single-cell resolution techniques. Because S1 is involved in sensory discrimination and proprioception, we tested for alterations in ambulatory performance in the aged animal and investigated two potential pathways underlying these central aging- and Ca2+-dependent changes. Compared to young, aged animals displayed increased overall activity and connectivity of the network as well as decreased ambulatory speed. In aged animals, intranasal insulin (INI) increased network synchronicity and ambulatory speed. Importantly, in young animals, delivery of the L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel modifier Bay-K 8644 altered network properties, replicating some of the changes seen in the older animal. These results suggest that hippocampal Ca2+ dysregulation may be generalizable to other areas, such as S1, and might engage modalities that are associated with locomotor stability and motivation to ambulate. Further, given the safety profile of INI in the clinic and the evidence presented here showing that this central dysregulation is sensitive to insulin, we suggest that these processes can be targeted to potentially increase motivation and coordination while also reducing fall frequency with age.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13661
JournalAging Cell
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01AG033649 to O.T.; T32AG057461 to H.N.F. and A.O.G). The authors would like to thank Dr. Eric Blalock for his statistical expertise and guidance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Aging Cell published by Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • GCaMP6
  • ambulation
  • falls
  • imaging
  • therapy
  • two-photon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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