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J Neurophysiol. 1985 Feb;53(2):557-71.

Use-dependent depression of IPSPs in rat hippocampal pyramidal cells in vitro.


We have used intracellular recording techniques to study the use-dependence of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in rat CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells. We determined reversal potentials and conductance changes associated with IPSPs and responses to directly applied gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The IPSP depression could be seen after a single conditioning stimulus. This depression appeared to be due primarily to a 50% decrease in IPSP conductance (gIPSP). Trains of stimulating pulses (50 pulses at 5 or 10 Hz) produced more pronounced effects than a single conditioning pulse. Suprathreshold repetitive stimulation of stratum radiatum (SR) produced epileptiform burst firing and greater depression of IPSPs than did alvear (ALV) or subthreshold SR stimulation. During suprathreshold SR stimulation the IPSP was nearly abolished and the membrane potential could become less negative than the resting potential. A masking effect of facilitated depolarizing potentials on IPSPs was unlikely since IPSPs accompanied by little or no depolarizing potential were also depressed by SR trains. The 75% reduction in IPSP conductance found after repetitive stimulation confirmed that an overlapping conductance was not responsible for the depression of the IPSP. The GABA-induced conductance increase was not depressed by identical trains. Trains of stimulation induced depolarizing shifts in equilibrium potentials for the IPSP (EIPSP) and GABA (EGABA) of approximately 10 mV. These shifts were always greater after SR trains than after ALV trains. Simultaneous recordings of membrane potential and extracellular potassium concentration ([K+]o) with K+-sensitive microelectrodes revealed a direct correlation between the two during a stimulus train. Membrane potential depolarized as much as 18 mV from the peak of the IPSP and [K+]o could increase to a maximum of 10 mM during some trains. A depressant effect (of approximately 50%) of K+ on IPSPs was demonstrated by brief pressure ejection of K+ near the soma. We conclude that repetitive stimulation depresses gIPSP and shifts EIPSP in the depolarizing direction. Whereas gIPSP began to decline after a single conditioning pulse, the additional depression of IPSPs produced by stimulus trains was due in large part to shifts in EIPSP. Depression of gIPSP was not due to desensitization or block of ionic conductances, since gGABA was not reduced. The EIPSP may change as a result of increases in [K+]o.

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