Intracellular study of rat globus pallidus neurons: membrane properties and responses to neostriatal, subthalamic and nigral stimulation

Brain Res. 1991 Nov 15;564(2):296-305. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)91466-e.


Physiological properties of globus pallidus (GP) neurons were studied intracellularly in anesthetized rats. More than 70% of the neurons exhibited continuous repetitive firing of 2-40 Hz, while others exhibited periodic burst firing or no firing. The repetitively firing neurons exhibited the following properties: spike accommodation; spike frequency adaptation; continuous firing with a frequency of about 100 Hz generated by intracellular current injections; fast anomalous rectification; ramp-shaped depolarization upon injection of depolarizing current; and post-active hyperpolarization. The burst firing neurons evoked a large depolarization with multiple spikes in response to depolarizing current, and a similar response was observed after the termination of hyperpolarizing current. The few neurons which did not fire spontaneous spikes exhibited strong spike accommodation when they were stimulated by current injections. The continuously firing neurons were antidromically activated by stimulation of the neostriatum (Str) (23 of 68), the subthalamic nucleus (STh) (55 of 75), and the substantia nigra (SN) (25 of 46). The antidromic latencies of the 3 stimulus sites were very similar (about 1 ms). None of the burst firing neurons were antidromically activated. Three non-firing neurons evoked antidromic responses only after Str stimulation. Only repetitively firing neurons evoked postsynaptic responses following stimulation of the Str and the STh. Stimulation of the Str evoked initial small EPSPs with latencies of 2-4 ms and strong, short duration IPSPs with latencies of 2-12 ms. Stimulation of the STh evoked short latency EPSPs overlapped with IPSPs. Frequently, these responses induced by Str and STh stimulation were followed by other EPSPs lasting 50-100 ms. These results indicated: (1) that the GP contains at least 3 electrophysiologically different types of neurons; (2) that GP projections to the Str, the STh, and the SN are of short latency pathways; (3) that Str stimulation evokes short latency EPSPs followed by IPSPs and late EPSPs in GP neurons; and (4) that STh stimulation evokes short latency EPSPs overlapped with short latency IPSPs and late EPSPs in GP neurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Globus Pallidus / cytology*
  • Globus Pallidus / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Substantia Nigra / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Synaptic Membranes / physiology
  • Thalamus / physiology*