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J Neurophysiol. 1996 Sep;76(3):2107-10.

Influence of voltage-sensitive dendritic conductances on bistable firing and effective synaptic current in cat spinal motoneurons in vivo.

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Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


1. After application of the noradrenergic alpha 1 agonist methoxamine, muscle spindle Ia input evoked bistable firing patterns (i.e., persistent discharges after Ia input ceased) in adult spinal motoneurons in the decerebrate cat preparation. These bistable discharge patterns were compared with the Ia currents generated in voltage-clamp conditions. 2. During voltage clamp at depolarized holding potentials, the Ia effective synaptic current underwent strong amplification. In those cells with strong bistable firing, a prolonged tail current followed the Ia input. Because the voltage clamp held the behavior of somatic conductances constant, these data indicate that voltage-sensitive conductances in the motoneuron dendrites made an important contribution to bistable firing.

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