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Nat Protoc. 2008;3(10):1559-68. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2008.147.

Paired-recordings from synaptically coupled cortical and hippocampal neurons in acute and cultured brain slices.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U641, Marseille, France.


Analysis of synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, axonal processing, synaptic timing or electrical coupling requires the simultaneous recording of both the pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Paired-recording technique of monosynaptically connected neurons is also an appropriate technique to probe the function of small molecules (calcium buffers, peptides or small proteins) at presynaptic terminals that are too small to allow direct whole-cell patch-clamp recording. We describe here a protocol for obtaining, in acute and cultured slices, synaptically connected pairs of cortical and hippocampal neurons, with a reasonably high probability. The protocol includes four main stages (acute/cultured slice preparation, visualization, recording and analysis) and can be completed in approximately 4 h.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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