Combining loose cell-attached stimulation and recording

J Neurosci Methods. 2000 Nov 30;103(2):199-208. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0270(00)00318-6.


Many synaptic-physiology experiments require selective stimulation of presynaptic neurones. No single method for achieving this is entirely satisfactory. Presynaptic whole-cell or microelectrode recordings offer outstanding control, but establishing such recordings of synaptically-connected neurones can be very time consuming. Minimal stimulation provides too little information regarding the condition and excitation of the presynaptic neurone(s). In the loose cell-attached configuration, it is possible both to stimulate individual cells and to record their action potentials, but most commercially-available equipment will not enable combining stimulation and recording. We demonstrate simultaneous loose cell-attached stimulation and recording of action potentials using a specially-designed patch-clamp amplifier. Since no tight seal is required, the method permits electrode re-use, thus enabling rapid screening of presynaptic cells while stimulating them selectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods*
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods*
  • Purkinje Cells / cytology
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology