The synaptic transmission and intrinsic membrane properties of spiny neurons in rat neostriatum were studied after unilateral dopamine depletion using in vivo intracellular recording and staining techniques. Two to four weeks after dopamine denervation, the spontaneous firing rate of spiny neurons increased and the spontaneous membrane potential fluctuation stayed at a more depolarized state for longer periods of time. The amplitude of cortically evoked initial excitatory postsynaptic potentials increased and a late excitatory postsynaptic potential that was occasionally found in control neurons was elicited from 23% of spiny neurons after dopamine denervation. No significant changes in intrinsic membrane properties of spiny neurons were observed after dopamine denervation. These results suggest that dopamine inhibits excitatory synaptic transmission of spiny neurons in naïve animals.
- Excitatory synaptic transmission
- Intracellular recordings
- Spiny neuron
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