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Cellular and network contributions to excitability of layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons in the rat



Cellular and network contributions to excitability of layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons in the rat



Plos one 2(11): E1209



There is a considerable gap between investigating the dynamics of single neurons and the computational aspects of neural networks. A growing number of studies have attempted to overcome this gap using the excitation in brain slices elicited by various chemical manipulations of the bath solution. However, there has been no quantitative study on the effects of these manipulations on the cellular and network factors controlling excitability. Using the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique we recorded the membrane potential from the soma of layer 5 pyramidal neurons in acute brain slices from the somatosensory cortex of young rats at 22 degrees C and 35 degrees C. Using blockers of synaptic transmission, we show distinct changes in cellular properties following modification of the ionic composition of the artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF). Thus both cellular and network changes may contribute to the observed effects of slice excitation solutions on the physiology of single neurons. Furthermore, our data suggest that the difference in the ionic composition of current standard ACSF from that of CSF measured in vivo cause ACSF to depress network activity in acute brain slices. This may affect outcomes of experiments investigating biophysical and physiological properties of neurons in such preparations. Our results strongly advocate the necessity of redesigning experiments routinely carried out in the quiescent acute brain slice preparation.

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Accession: 051985205

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PMID: 18030343


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