Neuronal and glial activity during spreading depression in cerebral cortex of cat

J Neurophysiol. 1975 Jul;38(4):822-41. doi: 10.1152/jn.1975.38.4.822.


1. Extra- and intracellular potentials were recorded from neurons and glia during spreading depression (SD) in cerebral cortex of cats. The glial membrane depolarized during SD and the time course of depolarization was concurrent with the surface DC change of SD. The glial depolarization evoked by 20-Hz repetitive cortical stimulation disappeared during the negative DC shift of SD. Simultaneous recording of the extra- and intracellular potentials from a single glial cell with a coaxial microelectrode showed that the extracellular DC potential change was of opposite polarity to the glial intracellular potential, which suggests that the slow glial depolarization concurrent with SD is not the field potential. In contrast to glial cells, the neuronal burst discharges as well as the neuronal membrane depolarization associated with SD did not show a close relationship to SD: the neuronal membrane depolarization and discharge were frequently delayed by 10-3- s from the onset of the SD slow wave. Sometimes SD was observed without accompanying neuronal depolarization. The degree of neuronal depolarization was not always correlated with the amplitude of the negative wave of SD. 2. The effect of tetrodotoxin (TTX) on the negative DC potential of SD was examined. Simultaneous recording of glial membrane potential and the neuronal unit activity as well as extracellular DC potential and surface DC potential during SD was performed and the TTX-treated cortex was compared with the normal state. TTX did not change the DC level of the cerebral cortex. SD could be evoked by KCl when neuronal discharge was completely abolished by TTX application...

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cortical Spreading Depression* / drug effects
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Penicillin G
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / metabolism
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology


  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Penicillin G
  • Potassium