Distinct mechanisms underlie electrical coupling resonance and its interaction with membrane potential resonance

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Neurons in oscillatory networks often exhibit membrane potential resonance, a peak impedance at a non-zero input frequency. In electrically coupled oscillatory networks, the coupling coefficient (the ratio of post- and prejunctional voltage responses) could also show resonance. Such coupling resonance may emerge from the interaction between the coupling current and resonance properties of the coupled neurons, but this relationship has not been clearly described. Additionally, it is unknown if the gap-junction mediated electrical coupling conductance may have frequency dependence. We examined these questions by recording a pair of electrically coupled neurons in the oscillatory pyloric network of the crab Cancer borealis. We performed dual current- and voltage-clamp recordings and quantified the frequency preference of the coupled neurons, the coupling coefficient, the electrical conductance, and the postjunctional neuronal response. We found that all components exhibit frequency selectivity, but with distinct preferred frequencies. Mathematical and computational analysis showed that membrane potential resonance of the postjunctional neuron was sufficient to give rise to resonance properties of the coupling coefficient, but not the coupling conductance. A distinct coupling conductance resonance frequency therefore emerges either from other circuit components or from the gating properties of the gap junctions. Finally, to explore the functional effect of the resonance of the coupling conductance, we examined its role in synchronizing neuronal the activities of electrically coupled bursting model neurons. Together, our findings elucidate factors that produce electrical coupling resonance and the function of this resonance in oscillatory networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1122433
JournalFrontiers in Systems Biology
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation


  • central pattern generator
  • gap junctions
  • oscillation
  • resonance
  • stomatogastric


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