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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 03



Machine learning elucidates electrophysiological properties predictive of multi- and single-firing human and mouse dorsal root ganglia neurons.


Zurek NA, Thiyagarajan S, Ehsanian R, Goins AE, Goyal S, Shilling M, Lambert CG, Westlund KN, Alles SRA


Human and mouse dorsal root ganglia (hDRG and mDRG) neurons are important tools in understanding the molecular and electrophysiological mechanisms that underlie nociception and drive pain behaviors. One of the simplest differences in firing phenotypes is that neurons are single-firing (exhibit only one action potential) or multi-firing (exhibit 2 or more action potentials). To determine if single- and multi-firing hDRG exhibit differences in intrinsic properties, firing phenotypes, and AP waveform properties, and if these properties could be used to predict multi-firing, we measured 22 electrophysiological properties by whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology of 94 hDRG neurons from 6 male and 4 female donors. We then analyzed the data using several machine learning models to determine if these properties could be used to predict multi-firing. We used 1000 iterations of Monte Carlo Cross Validation to split the data into different train and test sets and tested the Logistic Regression, k-Nearest Neighbors, Random Forest, Supported Vector Classification, and XGBoost machine learning models. All models tested had a greater than 80% accuracy on average, with Supported Vector Classification and XGBoost performing the best. We found that several properties correlated with multi-firing hDRG neurons and together could be used to predict multi-firing neurons in hDRG including a long decay time, a low rheobase, and long first spike latency. We also found that the hDRG models were able to predict multi-firing with 90% accuracy in mDRG. Targeting the neuronal properties that lead to multi-firing could elucidate better targets for treatment of chronic pain.