A-current modifies the spike of C-type neurones in the rabbit nodose ganglion

J Physiol. 1995 Jul 15;486 ( Pt 2)(Pt 2):439-51. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1995.sp020824.


1. In the rabbit nodose ganglion, C-type fibre neurones (C neurones) can be divided into two subtypes according to their after-hyperpolarizing potential (AHP) i.e. those with a fast AHP only and those with a fast AHP and a subsequent slow AHP produced by a slow calcium-dependent potassium current. In addition we have shown that some C neurones can be divided into two groups according to the effect of membrane hyperpolarization on their spikes i.e. type 1 in which duration and amplitude do not change and type 2 in which duration and amplitude decrease significantly. 2. In the present report we studied the effect of A-current (IA) on spike duration, amplitude and slow AHP using intracellular recording techniques. 3. To detect the presence of IA, we first applied a series of increasing rectangular hyperpolarizing pulses to remove IA inactivation and then a short depolarizing pulse to trigger a spike. In type 1 C neurones the lag time of the spike in relation to hyperpolarization remains constant whereas in type 2 C neurones the spike only appears after IA inactivation and lag time in relation to hyperpolarization is lengthened. Thus, type 2 C neurones have an IA while type 1 C neurones do not. The fact that addition of cadmium did not change the lag time in type 2 C neurones shows that the IA is not calcium dependent. 4. Nodose neurones can be orthodromically activated by stimulation of the vagal peripheral process. In this way, after a hyperpolarizing pulse, IA can be fully activated by the orthodromic spike itself. Under these conditions it is possible to analyse the effects of IA on the spike. This was done by increasing either the hyperpolarizing potential, pulse duration, or the delay of the spike after the end of the pulse. We observed that maximum IA inactivation removal was always associated with the lowest duration and amplitude of the spike. 5. When IA inhibitors, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) or catechol, were applied to type 2 C neurones, the delay of the spike after the hyperpolarization-depolarization test was no longer observed. In addition 4-AP abolished the shortening of the duration of the spike induced by steady hyperpolarization. 6. In type 2 C neurones with slow AHP, the IA-related decrease in spike duration was associated with a disappearance of the slow AHP. This indicates that IA decreases the calcium influx during the spike.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • 4-Aminopyridine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nodose Ganglion / cytology
  • Nodose Ganglion / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Reaction Time


  • 4-Aminopyridine