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J Neurosci Methods. 1991 Apr;37(2):121-31.

Double-labelling with rhodamine beads and biocytin: a technique for studying corticospinal and other projection neurons in vitro.

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Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


Corticospinal neurons retrogradely labelled with rhodamine-labelled latex microspheres (RLMs) in vivo were studied intracellularly in a slice preparation up to 13 months later with electrodes containing biocytin. The physiological properties of these double-labelled corticospinal neurons were indistinguishable from those of comparable neurons which were impaled with biocytin-containing electrodes without prior RLM-labelling, and neurons studied with potassium acetate-filled electrodes in similar areas. Thus, neither labelling with RLMs nor injection of biocytin affected neuronal properties. This important advantage of RLMs makes them suitable for prelabelling projection neurons in vivo for subsequent studies that take advantage of the versatility of a brain slice preparation. In addition to its lack of effects on neuronal properties, intracellular labelling with biocytin also provides high-quality morphological details ideal for anatomical analysis. The compatibility of retrograde labelling with RLMs and intracellular staining with biocytin make this a useful combined technique for tracking electrophysiological and anatomical changes in identified projection neurons over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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