Voltage clamp analysis of intact stomatogastric neurons

Brain Res. 1991 Aug 23;557(1-2):241-54. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)90141-h.


Two-electrode voltage clamp of intact, identified pyloric neurons of the spiny lobster stomatogastric ganglion reveals two major outward currents. A rapidly inactivating, tetraethylammonium- (TEA) insensitive, 4-aminopyridine- (4AP) sensitive, outward current resembles IA of molluscan neurons; it activates rapidly on depolarizations above rest (e.g. -45 mV), delaying both the axonal-sodium and the neuropil-calcium spikes which escape voltage-clamp control. We infer that A-current is distributed both in a space clamped region (on or near the soma) and in a non-space clamped region with access to the generators for sodium and calcium spikes. A calcium-dependent outward current, IO(Ca), activates rapidly at clamp steps above -25 mV and inactivates at depolarizing holding voltages. Increasing depolarization results in an increase in both IO(Ca) and firing rate but a reduction in the amplitude of the sodium spike current. Blockage of IO(Ca) with Cd2+ causes little change in spike firing pattern. These observations are consistent with IO(Ca) being activated primarily in the soma and nearby regions which are under good control with a soma voltage clamp (and distant from the Na(+)-spike trigger zone). While the lack of space clamp limits resolution of charging transients and tail currents, the identification of the major current subgroups can still be readily accomplished, and inferences about the location and function of currents can be made which would not be possible if the cells were space clamped or truncated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 4-Aminopyridine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / drug effects
  • Electrophysiology
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Nephropidae / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pylorus / innervation
  • Stomach / innervation*
  • Tetraethylammonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology


  • Calcium Channels
  • Ion Channels
  • Tetraethylammonium Compounds
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • 4-Aminopyridine