Passive and active membrane properties contribute to the temporal filtering properties of midbrain neurons in vivo

Eric S. Fortune, Gary J. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined the contributions of passive and active membrane properties to the temporal selectivities of electrosensory neurons in vivo. The intracellular responses to time-varying (2-30 Hz) electrosensory stimulation and current injection of 27 neurons in the midbrain of the weakly electric fish Eigenmannia were recorded. Each neuron was filled with biocytin to reveal its anatomy. Neurons were divided into two biophysically distinct groups based on their frequency-dependent responses to sinusoidal current injection over the range 2-30 Hz. Fourteen neurons showed low-pass filtering, with a maximum decline in the amplitude of voltage responses of >2.6 dB (X = 4.30 dB, s = 1.10 dB) to sinusoidal current injection. These neurons also showed low-pass filtering of electrosensory information but with larger maximum declines in postsynaptic potential amplitude (X = 9.53 dB, s = 3,34 dB; n = 10). These neurons had broad dendritic arbors and relatively spiny dendrites. Five neurons showed all-pass filtering, having maximum decline in the amplitude of voltage responses of <2.0 dB (X = 1.16 dB, s = 0.61 dB). For electrosensory stimuli, however, these neurons showed low-, band-, or high- pass filtering. These neurons had small dendritic arbors and few or no spines. Voltage-dependent 'active' conductances were revealed in eight neurons by using several levels of current clamp. In four of these neurons, the duration of the voltage-dependent conductances decreased in concert with the period of the electrosensory stimulus, whereas in the other four neurons the duration of the voltage-dependent conductances was relatively short (<30 msec) and nearly constant across sensory stimulation frequencies. These conductances enhanced the temporal filtering properties of neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3815-3825
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume17
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 22 1997

Keywords

  • Eigenmannia
  • dendritic spines
  • neural codes
  • sensory processing
  • torus semicircularis
  • whole-cell patch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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