Document Detail

Nanostimulation: manipulation of single neuron activity by juxtacellular current injection.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19955285     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In the mammalian brain, many thousands of single-neuron recording studies have been performed but less than 10 single-cell stimulation studies. This paucity of single-cell stimulation data reflects a lack of easily applicable single-cell stimulation techniques. We provide a detailed description of the procedures involved in nanostimulation, a single-cell stimulation method derived from the juxtacellular labeling technique. Nanostimulation is easy to apply and can be directed to a wide variety of identifiable neurons in anesthetized and awake animals. We describe the recording approach and the parameters of the electric configuration underlying nanostimulation. We use glass pipettes with a DC resistance of 4-7 Mohms. Obtaining the juxtacellular configuration requires a close contact between pipette tip and neuron and is associated with a several-fold increase in resistance to values > or = 20 Mohms. The recorded action potential (AP) amplitude grows to > or = 2 mV, and neurons can be activated with currents in the nanoampere range--hence the term nanostimulation. While exact AP timing has not been achieved, AP frequency and AP number can be parametrically controlled. We demonstrate that nanostimulation can also be used to selectively inhibit sensory responses in identifiable neurons. Nanostimulation is biophysically similar to electroporation, and based on this assumption, we argue that nanostimulation operates on membranes in the micrometer area directly below the pipette tip, where membrane pores are induced by high transmembrane voltage. There is strong evidence to suggest that nanostimulation selectively activates single neurons and that the evoked effects are cell-specific. Nanostimulation therefore holds great potential for elucidating how single neurons contribute to behavior.
Arthur R Houweling; Guy Doron; Birgit C Voigt; Lucas J Herfst; Michael Brecht
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-12-02
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  103     ISSN:  1522-1598     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurophysiol.     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-17     Completed Date:  2010-06-11     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1696-704     Citation Subset:  IM    
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology
Electric Stimulation / methods*
Head Movements / physiology
Micromanipulation / methods*
Motor Cortex / cytology,  physiology
Neurons / physiology*
Rats, Wistar

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