Single-shot channel activation accounts for duration of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in a central neuron

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Science  09 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4444, pp. 612-615
DOI: 10.1126/science.6245449


In the goldfish Mauthner cell, inhibitory postsynaptic currents evoked by intracellular stimulation of presynaptic neurons decay exponentially, with a mean time constant of 6.65 milliseconds. Analysis of membrane conductance fluctuations induced by iontophoresis of glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid indicates a mean inhibitory channel lifetime of 7.15 milliseconds. The results thus suggest that the relaxation kinetics of activated inhibitory channels are rate-limiting during decay of the inhibitory postsynaptic current.