Electrotonic coupling between pyramidal cells: a direct demonstration in rat hippocampal slices

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Science  14 Aug 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4509, pp. 782-785
DOI: 10.1126/science.6266013


Intracellular recordings from pairs of neurons in slices of rat hippocampus directly demonstrated electronic coupling between CA3 pyramidal cells. When two neurons were impaled simultaneously (as verified by subsequent double staining with horseradish peroxidase), current pulses injected into one cell caused voltage changes in other cells. These interactions were bidirectional. Fast prepotentials, historically thought to represent spike activity in dendrites, resulted from action potentials in other electronically coupled pyramidal cells. These data directly demonstrate electrotonic coupling between neurons in the mammalian brain and indicate that some fast prepotentials are coupling potentials. Coupling between pyramidal cells could mediate synchronization of normal rhythmic activity and of burst discharges during seizures.