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Electrophysiological properties of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the cat spinal cord in vitro

, : Electrophysiological properties of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the cat spinal cord in vitro. Pfluegers Archiv European Journal of Physiology 406(2): 91-98

Intracellular recordings were obtained from sympathetic preganglionic neurons of the intermedio-lateral nucleus of the adult cat in slices of upper thoracic spinal cord maintained in vitro. The neurons were identified by their antidromic responses to stimulation of various ipsilateral sites. Sites from which antidromic responses could be evoked were the white ramus, the ventral root, the ventral root exit zone, the white matter between the latter and the outer edge of the tip of the ventral horn, the lateral edge of the ventral horn. Resting membrane potential was -61.3 .+-. 1.6 mV (mean .+-. SEM), input resistance 67.5 .+-. 3.7 M.OMEGA. time constant 11.5 .+-. 1.2 ms. The amplitude of the action potential generated by antidromic or direct stimulation was 77.4 .+-. 2.3 mV. Threshold for direct spikes was 18.2 .+-. 1.8 mV. The action potential had an average duration of 3.03 .+-. 0.16 ms. It showed a prominent "hump" on the falling phase. The action potential had a tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive and a TTX-resistant component. The latter was abolished by cobalt. Tetraethylammonium, cesium and barium prolonged the action potential duration which acquired a plateau-shape. A prolonged after-hyperpolarization (AHP) followed the sympathetic preganglionic neuron spike. Following a single spike, AHP duration and peak amplitude were 2.8 .+-. 0.3 s and 16.6 .+-. 0.7 mV, respectively. The AHP was abolished by cesium or barium, but enhanced by tetraethylammonium. An AHP followed the TTX-resistant spike. EPSPs and IPSPs could be generated by focal stimulation. The EPSP triggered spikes when threshold (15.0 .+-. 2.0 mV) was reached. The slice of the thoracic spinal cord provides a useful experimental preparation for analysis of cellular properties and synaptic mechanisms of the sympathetic preganglionic neuron.

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Accession: 005349745

PMID: 3960703

DOI: 10.1007/bf00586668

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