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Active membrane properties of rat neostriatal neurons in an in vitro slice preparation

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The active membrane properties of rat neostriatal neurons have been studied in an in vitro slice preparation. All the neurons examined had resting membrane potentials of more than 50 mV and generated action potentials with amplitudes exceeding 70 mV. The morphological characteristics of the neurons identified by intracellular labeling with HRP indicated that they were medium spiny neurons. 1. Depolarizing current injection through the recording microelectrode generated slow depolarizing potentials and repetitive action potentials with frequencies ranging from less than 10 Hz to over 300 Hz. Adaptation of action potentials was observed when long duration depolarizing current was injected. 2. Depolarizing current injections revealed that the membrane of the striatal neuron had an anomalous rectification when the membrane potential was depolarized to the resting potential. A possible bases for the anomalous rectification might involve inactivation of K-conductance and slow inward Ca- and/or Na-currents. 3. Local electrical stimulation evoked depolarizing postsynaptic potentials (DPSPs) followed by long-lasting small depolarizations. In a double stimulation test, a potentiation of the test DPSP was observed at interstimulus time interval of up to 80 ms. Post-tetanic potentiation of DPSPs was also seen in these neurons. 4. Tests utilizing depolarizing current injection, intracellular Cl injection, and Cl-conductance blocking drugs indicated that the DPSPs were composed of EPSPs and overlapping IPSPs. 5. The nature of the longlasting small depolarization succeeding the DPSPs could not be conclusively determined. However, available data suggest that the slow inward Cacurrent may be responsible for this response. 6. In some neurons, antidromic responses were observed following local stimulation. Spike invasion into the somatic region was blocked by an injection of hyperpolarizing current to the neuron or by synaptic inputs evoked by conditioning local stimulation. These findings may explain the difficulties encountered by previous investigators in obtaining antidromic responses from neostriatal neurons in in vivo preparation.

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Correspondence to S. T. Kitai.

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Kita, H., Kita, T. & Kitai, S.T. Active membrane properties of rat neostriatal neurons in an in vitro slice preparation. Exp Brain Res 60, 54–62 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237018

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Key words

  • Membrane properties
  • Rat neostriatal neurons
  • Slice preparations
  • Intracellular study