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J Physiol Paris. 2003 Jul-Nov;97(4-6):557-66.

Various synaptic activities and firing patterns in cortico-striatal and striatal neurons in vivo.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U114, Chaire de Neuropharmacologie, Collège de France, 11 Place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris 05, France.


It is commonly assumed that spontaneous activity of striatal output neurons is characterized by a two-state behavior. This assumption is mainly based on in vivo intracellular recordings under urethane and/or ketamine-xylazine anesthesia showing that striatal neurons oscillate between two preferred membrane potentials, a Down state (hyperpolarized level), resulting from an inwardly rectifying potassium conductance, and an Up state (depolarized level) caused by complex interactions between a barrage of cortical synaptic excitation and voltage-dependent potassium conductances. However, a recent comparative study using different anesthetics showed that striatal neurons can exhibit various shapes of synaptic activity depending on the temporal structure and the degree of synchronization of their cortico-striatal afferents. These new data demonstrate that the "classical" Up and Down states do not provide the unique spontaneous activity that can be encountered in striatal neurons in vivo. Rather we propose that striatal neurons should exhibit various synaptic activities and firing patterns depending on the states of vigilance. This hypothesis would be validated in further experiments in which the intracellular activity of striatal neurons will be recorded during the natural sleep-wake cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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