Quantification of optical signals with electrophysiological signals in neural activities of Di-4-ANEPPS stained rat hippocampal slices

J Neurosci Methods. 2000 Oct 15;102(1):11-23. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0270(00)00270-3.


We have quantified the optical signals of synaptically induced neural activities in an in vitro brain slice preparation in terms of electrophysiological signals. The qualification was done using electrophysiologically well known neural activities in the CA1 area of rat hippocampal slices stained with externally applied fluorescent voltage-sensitive dye (VSD; Di-4-ANEPPS). Together with a newly designed CCD-based digital high-speed camera system and epi-fluorescent optics, our improvements were made on a protocol for staining using a newly designed chamber system. These improvements enabled us to make stable and reliable recordings of optical signals and electrophysiological measurements without affecting the physiological status and to make a quantitative comparison between them. The time course and amplitude of the optical signal showed fair agreement with intracellular and extracellular recordings, and was stable over 2 h. The optical signal followed synaptically induced long-term potentiation (LTP) as monitored by the electrophysiological signals. A regional difference in the amount of LTP was found in optical signals and was confirmed in the electrophysiological signals. These results demonstrate the capabilities of our improved method as an alternative but more potent tool to measure the neuronal activities of brain slice in addition to electrophysiological method.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents*
  • Diffusion Chambers, Culture / instrumentation
  • Diffusion Chambers, Culture / methods
  • Electronic Data Processing / instrumentation*
  • Electronic Data Processing / methods
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pyridinium Compounds*
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • 1-(3-sulfonatopropyl)-4-(beta)(2-(di-n-butylamino)-6-naphthylvinyl)pyridinium betaine