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Brain Res. 2001 Jun 29;905(1-2):245-9.

Post-cultured development of basic electrophysiological properties of spinal neurons obtained from rat embryo.

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Department of Physiology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.


Basic electrical profiles of cultured neurons are modified by multiple factors, such as cell growth, differentiation and cell damage from the isolation procedure. In the present study, we assessed development of electrophysiological properties of rat spinal neurons over the late embryonic and early postnatal period in a neuron-enriched culture. After recovery from acute damage within 2 days after plating, the input conductance and amplitudes of voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) currents increased parallel to the increase in the cell capacitance. Whether this depended on the period or the growth of the cell area was estimated by normalizing the parameters with the cell capacitance. The input conductance per unit area, the membrane time constant and the Na(+) current density remained constant for two weeks. However, densities of two types of outward K(+) currents, an A-current and a delayed rectifier, required 3--5 days to reach the maximum, although neither thresholds for activation nor sensitivities to blockers (TEA and 4AP) altered. The hyperpolarizing shift of the resting membrane potential became stabilized within 6--8 days, suggesting that the development of the K(+) currents underlay the shift. These results show that passive electrical properties and voltage-gated currents of rat spinal neurons in the neuron-rich culture differ in temporal patterns of development but stabilize at the latest within a week, corresponding to the day of birth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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