Basal ganglia output neurons use the NALCN leak channel to maintain their characteristic tonic firing, and this channel is important for the modulation of firing by metabolic or receptor-mediated signals.
Acquisition of behavioral sequences in normally aged mice involves short and unusually fast patterns of action, some of which are reproduced by striatal circuitry manipulations in young mice and can be transitorily restored through action-related feedback.
In mouse models of Huntington's disease, the subthalamic nucleus, which suppresses movements, also exhibits impaired glutamate homeostasis, NMDA receptor-dependent mitochondrial oxidant stress, firing disruption, and 30% neuronal loss.
A mathematical model built around the assumption that the desire to maintain internal homeostasis drives the behavior of animals, by affecting their learning processes, can explain many real-world behaviors, including some that might otherwise appear irrational.
Inspired by the sparse, sequential neural activity patterns observed in striatum, a new circuit model implements variable-speed activity, the encoding of multiple sequences, and a tutor/student relationship between cortex and striatum.