A direct comparison of whole cell patch and sharp electrodes by simultaneous recording from single spinal neurons in frog tadpoles

Wenchang Li, S.R. Soffe, A Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High-impedance, sharp intracellular electrodes were compared with whole cell patch electrodes by recording from single spinal neurons in immobilized frog tadpoles. A range of neuron properties were examined using sharp or patch test electrodes while making simultaneous recordings with a second control patch electrode. Overall, test patch electrodes did not significantly alter the activity recorded by the control electrode, and recordings from the two electrodes were essentially identical. In contrast, sharp electrode recordings differed from initial control patch recordings. In some cases, differences were due to real changes in neuron properties: the resting membrane potential became less negative and the neuron input resistance (R(i)) fell; this fall was larger for neurons with a higher R(i). In other cases, the control patch electrode revealed that differences were due to the recording properties of the sharp electrode: tip potentials were larger and more variable; resting potentials appeared to be more negative; and spike amplitude was attenuated. However, sharp electrode penetration did not, in most cases, significantly alter the pattern of neuron firing in response to injected current or the normal pattern of activity following sensory stimulation or during fictive swimming. We conclude that sharp electrodes introduce a significant leak to the membrane of tadpole spinal neurons compared with patch electrodes but that this does not change the fundamental firing characteristics or activity of the neurons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-6
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

Keywords

  • XENOPUS-LAEVIS EMBRYOS
  • MEMBRANE-PROPERTIES
  • CORD
  • INTERNEURONS
  • CLAMP
  • MICROELECTRODE
  • VERTEBRATE
  • LOCOMOTION

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