Electrophysiological characteristics of globus pallidus neurons

PLoS One. 2010 Aug 6;5(8):e12001. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012001.


Extracellular recordings in primates have identified two types of neurons in the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPE): high frequency pausers (HFP) and low frequency bursters (LFB). The aim of the current study was to test whether the properties of HFP and LFB neurons recorded extracellularly in the primate GPe are linked to cellular mechanisms underlying the generation of action potential (AP) firing. Thus, we recorded from primate and rat globus pallidus neurons. Extracellular recordings in primates revealed that in addition to differences in firing patterns the APs of neurons in these two groups have different widths (APex). To quantitatively investigate this difference and to explore the heterogeneity of pallidal neurons we carried out cell-attached and whole-cell recordings from acute slices of the rat globus pallidus (GP, the rodent homolog of the primate GPe), examining both spontaneous and evoked activity. Several parameters related to the extracellular activity were extracted in order to subdivide the population of recorded GP neurons into groups. Statistical analysis showed that the GP neurons in the rodents may be differentiated along six cellular parameters into three subgroups. Combining two of these groups allowed a better separation of the population along nine parameters. Four of these parameters (Fmax, APamp, APhw, and AHPs amplitude) form a subset, suggesting that one group of neurons may generate APs at significantly higher frequencies than the other group. This may suggest that the differences between the HFP and LFB neurons in the primate are related to fundamental underlying differences in their cellular properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena*
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Globus Pallidus / cytology*
  • Globus Pallidus / physiology*
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Rats