Juxtacellular Labeling and Chemical Phenotyping of Extracellularly Recorded Neurons In Vivo
Extracellular recording of the action potential discharge of individual neurons has been an indispensable electrophysiological method for more than 50 yr. Although it requires relatively modest instrumentation, extracellular recording nevertheless provides critically important information concerning the patterning of intercellular communication in the nervous system. In 1996, Didier Pinault described “juxtacellular labeling” as “a novel and very effective single-cell labeling method” for revealing the morphology of extracellularly recorded neurons. Of particular interest for neuroscience is that juxtacellular labeling can be combined with immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization histochemistry to reveal new and exciting information concerning the chemical phenotype of neurons whose electrophysiological properties have been characterized in vivo. By providing investigators with a means to “match” functional information from electrophysiological recordings with morphological and protein/gene expression data at the level of the single neuron, juxtacellular labeling has opened a new era in neuroscience research, one that holds the promise of an accelerated pace of discovery.
Key WordsConfocal microscopy cellular morphology electrophysiology extracellular recording histochemistry immunocytochemistry in situ hybridization
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