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Eur J Neurosci. 1995 Mar 1;7(3):462-9.

Properties of the hyperpolarization-activated cation current Ih in rat midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

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Clinica Neurologica, University of Tor Vergata-Rome, Italy.


Intracellular electrophysiological recordings in current- and voltage-clamp mode were obtained from dopaminergic neurons of the rat mesencephalon in an in vitro slice preparation. In current-clamp mode, a time-dependent anomalous rectification (TDR) of the membrane was observed in response to hyperpolarizing current pulses. In single-electrode voltage-clamp mode, a slowly developing inward current (Ih) underlying the TDR was studied by hyperpolarizing voltage commands from a holding potential of -50 to -60 mV. Ih started to be activated at approximately -69 mV, was fully activated at -129 to -141 mV, with half-maximal activation at -87 mV, and showed no inactivation with time. The time course of development of Ih followed a single exponential, and its time constant was voltage-dependent. At -81 mV, Ih activated with a time constant of 379 +/- 47.6 ms, whereas at -129 mV Ih activated with a time constant of 65 +/- 2.2 ms. Its estimated reversal potential was -35 +/- 4 mV. Raising the extracellular concentration of K+ from 2.5 to 6.5 and to 12.5 mM increased the amplitude of Ih while reducing the extracellular concentration of Na+ from 153.2 to 27.2 mM caused a reduction in amplitude of Ih. Bath application of caesium (1-5 mM) reversibly reduced or blocked the TDR/Ih. Perfusion of tetrodotoxin (0.5-1 microM), tetraethylammonium (10-20 mM) or barium (0.3-2 mM) did not significantly affect Ih. Ih was also present in cells impaled with CsCl-filled electrodes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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