Abstract Two-electrode voltage-clamp methodology was used to analyze voltage-dependent ionic conductances in 81 rat hippocampal neurons grown in culture for 4-6 wk. Pyramidal and multipolar cells with 15- to 20-micron-diameter cell bodies were impaled with two independent KCl electrodes. The cells had resting potentials of -30 to -60 mV and an average input resistance of about 30 M omega. A depolarizing command applied to a cell maintained in normal medium invariably evoked a fast (2-10 ms) inward current that saturated the current-passing capacity of the system. This was blocked in a reversible manner by application of tetrodotoxin (TTX) (0.1-1.0 microM) near the recorded cell. In the presence of TTX, a depolarizing command evoked a rapidly rising (3-5 ms), rapidly decaying (25 ms) transient outward current reminiscent of "IA" reported in molluscan neurons. This was followed by a more slowly activating (approximately 100 ms) outward current response of greater amplitude that decayed with a time constant of about 2-3 s. These properties resemble those associated with the K+ conductance, IK, underlying delayed rectification described in many excitable membranes. IK was blocked by extracellular application of tetraethylammonium (TEA) but was insensitive to 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) at concentrations that effectively eliminated IA. IA, in turn, was only marginally depressed by TEA. Unlike IK, IA was completely inactivated when the membrane was held at potentials positive to -50 mV. Inactivation was completely removed by conditioning hyperpolarization at -90 mV. A brief hyperpolarizing pulse (10 ms) was sufficient to remove 95% of the inactivation. IA activated on commands to potentials more positive than -50 mV. The inversion potential of the ionic conductance underlying IA and IK was in the range of the K+ equilibrium potential, EK, as measured by the inversion of tail currents; and this potential was shifted in a depolarizing direction by elevated K+0. Thus, both current species reflect activation of membrane conductance to K+ ions. Hyperpolarizing commands from resting potentials revealed a time- and voltage-dependent slowly developing inward current in the majority of cells studied. This membrane current was observed in cells exhibiting "anomalous rectification" and was therefore labeled IAR. It was activated at potentials negative to -70 mV with a time constant of 100-200 ms and was not inactivated. A return to resting potential revealed a tail current that disappeared at about EK. IAR was blocked by extracellular CS+ and was enhanced by elevating K+0. It thus appears to be carried by inward movement of K+ ions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) Copyright © 1984 the American Physiological Society
Journal of Neurophysiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Jun 1, 1984
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