Effects of temperature on calcium transients and Ca2+-dependent afterhyperpolarizations in neocortical pyramidal neurons

J Neurophysiol. 2005 Apr;93(4):2012-20. doi: 10.1152/jn.01017.2004. Epub 2004 Nov 17.


In neocortical pyramidal neurons, the medium (mAHP) and slow AHP (sAHP) have different relationships with intracellular [Ca2+]. To further explore these differences, we varied bath temperature and compared passive and active membrane properties and Ca2+ transients in response to a single action potential (AP) or trains of APs. We tested whether Ca(2+)-dependent events are more temperature sensitive than voltage-dependent ones, the slow rise time of the sAHP is limited by diffusion, and temperature sensitivity differs between the mAHP and sAHP. The onset and decay kinetics of the sAHP were very temperature sensitive (more so than diffusion). We found that the decay time course of Ca2+ transients was also very temperature sensitive. In contrast, the mAHP (amplitude, time to peak, and exponential decay) and sAHP peak amplitude were moderately sensitive to temperature. The amplitudes of intracellular Ca2+ transients evoked either by a single spike or a train of spikes showed modest temperature sensitivities. Pyramidal neuron input resistance was increased by cooling. With the exception of threshold, which remained unchanged between 22 and 35 degrees C, action potential parameters (amplitude, half-width, maximum rates of rise and fall) were modestly affected by temperature. Collectively, these data suggest that temperature sensitivity was higher for the Ca(2+)-dependent sAHP than for voltage-dependent AP parameters or for the mAHP, diffusion of Ca2+ over distance cannot explain the slow rise of the sAHP in these cells, and the kinetics of the sAHP and mAHP are affected differently by temperature.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neocortex / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Temperature*