Quickie – Considerations of in vivo electrophysiology
November 27, 2010 2 Comments
I’m just reading a paper on the response properties of monoamine neurons, and it starts out with a few points of consideration for electrophysiological recording of neurons in vivo. I thought I’d relay them here.
- The evidence that you are recording from a given type of neuron (dopaminergic, serotinergic etc.) is almost always indirect. It is usually based on electrophysiological characteristics determined by previous in vitro studies, using intracellular recording and neuron staining.
- We can describe the general behaviour of a group of neurons which contain/release a particular neuron, as they often appear to behave in a homogenous manner. Jacobs notes “this may change, of course, as more detailed analyses are carried out.” The paper was published in 1986, and for my neuron of interest – dopaminergic neurons – this has indeed changed.
- In order to properly understand the activity of a neuron, it has to be recorded from an unanesthetised animal, as beyond the advantage of being able to study behaviour and neural activity, anaesthesia can profoundly affect neuronal responses.
There’s also a nice little Q&A after the references, which seems quite quaint. It’s nice to read older papers to give a general overview of a subject before diving into the nuanced modern research, you just have to make sure it’s not so old as to be totally misguided and out of date.
JACOBS, B. (1986). Single Unit Activity of Brain Monoamine-Containing Neurons in Freely Moving Animals Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 473 (1 Neurochemical), 70-77 DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1986.tb23604.x