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Nanodiamonds-induced effects on neuronal firing of mouse hippocampal microcircuits
L. Guarina, C. Calorio, D. Gavello, E. Moreva, P. Traina, A. Battiato, S. Ditalia Tchernij, J. Forneris, M. Gai, F. Picollo, P. Olivero, M. Genovese, E. Carbone, A. Marcantoni, V. Carabelli

Published: 02 February 2018 by Springer Nature in Scientific Reports
Springer Nature, Volume 8; 10.1038/s41598-018-20528-5
Abstract: Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FND) are carbon-based nanomaterials that can efficiently incorporate optically active photoluminescent centers such as the nitrogen-vacancy complex, thus making them promising candidates as optical biolabels and drug-delivery agents. FNDs exhibit bright fluorescence without photobleaching combined with high uptake rate and low cytotoxicity. Focusing on FNDs interference with neuronal function, here we examined their effect on cultured hippocampal neurons, monitoring the whole network development as well as the electrophysiological properties of single neurons. We observed that FNDs drastically decreased the frequency of inhibitory (from 1.81 Hz to 0.86 Hz) and excitatory (from 1.61 to 0.68 Hz) miniature postsynaptic currents, and consistently reduced action potential (AP) firing frequency (by 36%), as measured by microelectrode arrays. On the contrary, bursts synchronization was preserved, as well as the amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory and excitatory events. Current-clamp recordings revealed that the ratio of neurons responding with AP trains of high-frequency (fast-spiking) versus neurons responding with trains of low-frequency (slow-spiking) was unaltered, suggesting that FNDs exerted a comparable action on neuronal subpopulations. At the single cell level, rapid onset of the somatic AP (“kink”) was drastically reduced in FND-treated neurons, suggesting a reduced contribution of axonal and dendritic components while preserving neuronal excitability.
Keywords: nitrogen, somatic, Function, Neurons, frequency, Fnds, Spontaneous Inhibitory, incorporate optically
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