In Vivo Whole-Cell Patch-Clamp Methods: Recent Technical Progress and Future Perspectives

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Feb 19;21(4):1448. doi: 10.3390/s21041448.


Brain functions are fundamental for the survival of organisms, and they are supported by neural circuits consisting of a variety of neurons. To investigate the function of neurons at the single-cell level, researchers often use whole-cell patch-clamp recording techniques. These techniques enable us to record membrane potentials (including action potentials) of individual neurons of not only anesthetized but also actively behaving animals. This whole-cell recording method enables us to reveal how neuronal activities support brain function at the single-cell level. In this review, we introduce previous studies using in vivo patch-clamp recording techniques and recent findings primarily regarding neuronal activities in the hippocampus for behavioral function. We further discuss how we can bridge the gap between electrophysiology and biochemistry.

Keywords: axon; dendrite; hippocampus; local field potential; membrane potential; mouse; neocortex; patch-clamp recording; rat; whole-cell recording.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Hippocampus*
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Neurons*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques*