Scientific article

An electrophysiological study of the in vitro, perfused brain stem-cerebellum of adult guinea-pig

Published inJournal of physiology, vol. 404, p. 215-240
Publication date1988

1. We describe here a technique which allows the long-term in vitro survival of the perfused isolated brain stem-cerebellum of adult guinea-pig. The viability of this preparation was assessed by comparing the electrophysiological properties of individual neurones and of neuronal pools to those obtained in vivo or in brain slices. The areas investigated included the cerebellar cortex, the inferior olive and the pontine nuclei. 2. Cerebellar field potential and intra- and extracellular single-cell recordings could be obtained for as long as 15 h after the preparation was initially isolated. The waveforms of field potentials recorded at various depths in the cerebellar cortex following surface folial stimulation were similar to those recorded in vivo. Extracellular recordings from single Purkinje cells following white matter stimulation demonstrated antidromic as well as mossy- and climbing fibre-mediated excitation. Stimulation of the cerebellar surface elicited orthodromic parallel fibre excitation of Purkinje cells and basket-stellate and Golgi cell inhibition. 3. Intrasomatic and intradendritic recordings from Purkinje cells reproduced all the phenomenology described earlier under in vivo conditions and in vitro slice preparations. In addition, spontaneous excitatory synaptic potentials generating simple spikes (mossy fibre-parallel fibre-mediated activity) and complex spikes (climbing fibre-mediated activity) were consistently observed. 4. Extracellular field potentials and extra- and intracellular recordings from inferior olive neurones were similar to those previously shown for the mammalian inferior olive. 5. Intracellular recordings were also obtained from pontine nuclei neurones, a major source of mossy fibre afferents to the cerebellum. Stimulation of the contralateral superior cerebellar peduncle produced antidromic invasion of these neurones whereas stimulation of the ipsilateral inferior cerebral peduncle resulted in their orthodromic activation. 6. The preparation responded to pharmacological challenge in a manner which demonstrated a sequential activation of sets of synaptic links in a given pathway. Thus, harmaline generated oscillations of inferior olivary neurones which were similar to those observed in vivo and which produced climbing fibre EPSPs in Purkinje cells at the same frequency as the inferior olivary oscillations. Climbing fibre activation of the Purkinje cells generated powerful inhibitory potentials in the cerebellar nuclear neurones at the same frequency.

  • Action Potentials/drug effects
  • Animals
  • Brain Stem/ physiology
  • Cerebellar Cortex/physiology
  • Cerebellum/ physiology
  • Dendrites/physiology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Harmaline/pharmacology
  • Purkinje Cells/drug effects/physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Survival
Citation (ISO format)
LLINAS, R., MUHLETHALER, Michel. An electrophysiological study of the in vitro, perfused brain stem-cerebellum of adult guinea-pig. In: Journal of physiology, 1988, vol. 404, p. 215–240.
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0022-3751

Technical informations

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