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J Neurosci Methods. 1998 Dec 31;86(1):35-54.

Methods for whole-cell recording from visually preselected neurons of perirhinal cortex in brain slices from young and aging rats.

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


This manuscript describes methods for preparing, visualizing, and recording from healthy perirhinal cortex neurons in brain slices from young and aging rats. We focused on perirhinal cortex because of its role in learning, memory, and aging-related cognitive decline. Detailed accounts of our dissection procedures are reported. Procedures that reliably yielded healthy neurons from juvenile rats were not conducive to obtaining healthy, readily-patchable neurons from aging rats, suggesting a procedure-by-age interaction. Performing an intracardiac perfusion, using a temperature-controlled vibratome, matching osmolarity between the cutting and incubation saline, using a slow cutting speed, and incubating slices at a warm temperature for 30 min were important when working with older tissue. Excellent visualization of neurons at depths of up to 100 microm was achieved in slices from all ages (without tissue clearing) avoiding the need to record from surface neurons, which are more likely to have truncated processes. Whole-cell recordings typically remained stable for several hours in neurons prepared from rats at all ages. These procedures should benefit neuroscientists interested in applying visually-guided whole-cell patch-clamp techniques to brain slice experiments using aged tissue. These methods should also facilitate the application of fluorescent imaging technology to brain slices for studying aging-related changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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