In vivo visualization and functional characterization of primary somatic neurons

J Neurosci Methods. 2010 Aug 15;191(1):60-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.06.010. Epub 2010 Jun 14.


In vivo electrophysiological recordings from cell bodies of primary sensory neurons are used to determine sensory function but are commonly performed blindly and without access to voltage- (patch-clamp) electrophysiology or optical imaging. We present a procedure to visualize and patch-clamp the neuronal cell body in the dorsal root ganglion, in vivo, manipulate its chemical environment, determine its receptive field properties, and remove it either to obtain subsequent molecular analyses or to gain access to deeper lying cells. This method allows the association of the peripheral transduction capacities of a sensory neuron with the biophysical and chemical characteristics of its cell body.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology / instrumentation
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Spinal / blood supply
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Microscopy, Video / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Video / methods
  • Neurophysiology / instrumentation
  • Neurophysiology / methods*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / instrumentation
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / cytology*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / drug effects
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*