Synaptic activation of voltage-gated channels in the dendrites of hippocampal pyramidal neurons

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Science  14 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5208, pp. 301-304
DOI: 10.1126/science.7716525


Activation of dendritic voltage-gated ion channels by local synaptic input was tested by simultaneous dendrite-attached patch-clamp recordings and whole-cell somatic voltage recordings made from CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices. Schaffer collateral stimulation elicited subthreshold excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) that opened voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels in the apical dendrites. The EPSP-activated sodium channels opened near the peak of the EPSP, whereas low voltage-activated calcium channels opened near the EPSP peak and during the decay phase. Dendritic high voltage-activated channels required somatic action potential generation or suprathreshold synaptic trains for activation. Dendritic voltage-gated channels are, therefore, likely to participate in dendritic integration of synaptic events.

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