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J Physiol. 1980 Apr;301:505-16.

Slow synaptic potentials in neurones of the myenteric plexus.


1. Intracellular recordings were made in vitro from neurones in the myenteric plexus of the guinea-pig ileum. Potential changes were recorded in response to focal stimulation of the surface of the myenteric ganglion at a distance of 30-100 microM from the impaled cell. 2. Stimuli comprising single pulses evoked cholinergic excitatory post-synaptic potentials ('fast' e.p.s.p.s) in S cells. In a small proportion (20%) of both S and AH cells such stimuli also evoked depolarizing potentials with a time course about 1000 times slower than that of the fast e.p.s.p. 3. Stimuli comprising repeated pulses (up to 20 Hz for 2 sec) evoked the slow depolarizing potentials in a higher proporton of neurones (42%). These stimuli caused a hyperpolarizing potential change in 9% of cells, and in a very few cells biphasic changes i membrane potential were observed. 4. Both the slow depolarizing and the slow hyperpolarizing responses persisted in atropine (up to 5 microM) and hexamethonium (up to 200 microM), but were reversibly abolished by changing to calcium-free solutions. 5. Evidence is presented which suggests that the slow depolarizing response is caused by inactivation of the membrane potassium conductance, and the slow hyperpolarizing response is due to activaton of the potassium conductance.

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