Single-channel and whole-cell studies of calcium currents in young and aged rat hippocampal slice neurons

Olivier Thibault, Mary L. Mazzanti, Eric M. Blalock, Nada M. Porter, Philip W. Landfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The hippocampal slice preparation has contributed greatly to analysis of the basic neurophysiology of brain neurons. In addition, because traumatic dissociative procedures are not used, the in vitro slice is particularly well suited for studies of electrophysiological properties of hippocampal neurons in young and aged rodent brain. Using the slice, we have previously observed an aging-dependent enhancement of voltage-activated Ca2+ influx using a combination of intracellular sharp electrode current-clamp and voltage-clamp techniques. The Ca2+-dependent afterhyperpolarization as well as the Ca2+ action potential were significantly larger in aged rat neurons. Using the sharp electrode switch clamp method, similar effects were found for high voltage-activated whole-cell Ca2+ currents. In order to study the mechanistic bases of these aging phenomena at the single-channel level, we have recently focused on recording cell-attached patches from neurons in the partially dissociated hippocampal slice ('zipper' slice). This technique, developed by Gray et al. in 1990, subjects slices to a mild enzymatic treatment resulting in the exposure of individual neurons for patch-clamp procedures. Using this technique, we are currently recording single Ca2+ channel activity in hippocampal slices from 4- to 29-month-old rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • Aging
  • Calcium channel
  • Calcium current
  • Hippocampus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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