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Title

Electrophysiological study of nucleus gigantocellularis neurons in guinea-pig brainstem slices

Authors
Vidal, P. P.
Published in Neuroscience. 1996, vol. 73, no. 3, p. 797-805
Abstract Gigantocellular neurons of the medullary nucleus gigantocellularis represent a major source of reticulospinal pathways. Among other roles, they have been involved in the processing of vestibular information. The aim of the present study was to describe the major intrinsic membrane properties of these cells in guinea-pig brainstem slices. We found nucleus gigantocellularis neurons to be segregated in two cell types. Type A nucleus gigantocellularis neurons were characterized by the presence of a single large afterhyperpolarization and a potent transient 4-aminopyridine-sensitive rectification likely due to the presence of a transient outward potassium current. In contrast, type B nucleus gigantocellularis neurons had a narrower and faster rising action potential followed by an early fast and a delayed slower after-hyperpolarization. In contrast to type A neurons, type B neurons were, in addition, endowed with subthreshold tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium-dependent plateau potentials. Whereas both cell types were endowed with high-threshold calcium-dependent action potentials, only type B nucleus gigantocellularis neurons also displayed long-lasting calcium-dependent plateau potentials. These results show that nucleus gigantocellularis neurons can be segregated by their intrinsic membrane properties it two cell types which are very similar to those that we have previously described in the medial vestibular nucleus. The possibility that these differences between type A and B neurons might play a role in the segregation between tonic and kinetic cells is discussed.
Keywords AnimalsBrain Stem/ physiologyGuinea PigsMedulla Oblongata/ physiologyMembrane Potentials/ physiologyNeural Pathways/ physiologyTetrodotoxin/pharmacology
Stable URL http://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:10447
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PMID: 8809799
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