alpha 2-adrenoceptor-mediated hyperpolarization of locus coeruleus neurons: intracellular studies in vivo

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Science  12 Mar 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4538, pp. 1394-1396
DOI: 10.1126/science.6278591


Intracellular recordings in vivo from noradrenergic neurons in the rat locus coeruleus showed that membrane potential was hyperpolarized by the administration of clonidine (an alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist) or after a burst of spikes evoked by intracellular pulses; both types of hyperpolarization were associated with a decrease in membrane input resistance, and both could be blocked by the alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist piperoxane. These results suggest that a hyperpolarization of membrane potential mediated by an alpha 2-adrenoceptor underlies both clonidine- and activation-induced inhibition of locus coeruleus cell firing.

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