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J Physiol. 1991 Sep;441:175-97.

Two inward currents and the transformation of low-frequency oscillations of rat and cat thalamocortical cells.

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1
Department of Visual Science, Institute of Ophthalmology, London.

Abstract

1. The contribution of a slow, mixed Na(+)-K+, inward rectifying current (Ih) and the T-type Ca2+ current (IT) (that underlies low-threshold Ca2+ potentials) to the low-frequency oscillations observed in rat and cat thalamocortical (TC) cells in vitro was studied using current clamp and single-electrode voltage clamp recordings. 2. From a holding potential of -50 mV, voltage steps negative to -60 mV showed the presence of a slow, non-inactivating inward current, Ih. This current was unaffected by Ba2+ (1-4 mM), tetrodotoxin (0.5-1 microM) and TEA (20 mM, n = 6), reversibly blocked by Cs+ (1-3 mM), and its reversal potential (-33.0 +/- 1.2 mV) followed changes in the extracellular Na+ and K+, but not Cl-, concentration. 3. Application of Cs+ (1-3 mM) abolished the pacemaker oscillations (n = 9), while in six cells that did not show any oscillatory activity Cs+ first evoked the spindle-like oscillations that, in the continuous presence of these ions, were then transformed into the pacemaker oscillations before all activities were finally blocked: all these effects were accompanied by a hyperpolarization and a progressive decrease and final blockade of Ih. Cs+ had no effect on the 'N-methyl-D-aspartate' (NMDA) oscillations (n = 5) and Ba2+ (2 mM, n = 8) did not block the pacemaker, the spindle-like and the 'NMDA' oscillations. 4. In ten cells that showed the pacemaker oscillations selective activation of beta-adrenoceptors by 10-50 microM-noradrenaline (in the presence of alpha-noradrenergic antagonists) or by 20 microM-isoprenaline first transformed the pacemaker oscillations into the spindle-like oscillations that, in the continuous activation of beta-receptors, were finally abolished: all these effects were accompanied by a depolarization and a progressive increase of Ih. 5. In TC cells that showed the pacemaker oscillations application of 1-octanol (50-100 microM), an antagonist of T-type Ca2+ currents, reversibly blocked this activity but concomitantly decreased (50%) the cell input resistance (n = 5). Application of Ni2+ (0.2-0.5 mM, n = 13), another antagonist of IT reversibly blocked the pacemaker, the spindle-like and the 'NMDA' oscillations. 7. In cells showing the pacemaker oscillations it was found that the current developing from the most hyperpolarized potential of an oscillation cycle was an inward relaxation whose time course differed from that of Ih evoked at the same potential.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

PMID:
1667794
PMCID:
PMC1180192
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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