Weak Sinusoidal Electric Fields Entrain Spontaneous Ca Transients in the Dendritic Tufts of CA1 Pyramidal Cells in Rat Hippocampal Slice Preparations


" Neurons might interact via electric fields and this notion has been referred to as ephaptic interaction. It has been shown that various types of ion channels are distributed along the dendrites and are capable of supporting generation of dendritic spikes. We hypothesized that generation of dendritic spikes play important roles in the ephaptic interactions either by amplifying the impact of electric fields or by providing current source to generate electric fields. ... We have found that spontaneously occurring fast-Ca-transients in the tufts of the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons can be blocked by applying 1 μM tetrodotoxin, and that the timing of the transients become entrained to sub-threshold 1-4 Hz electric fields with an intensity as weak as 0.84 mV/mm applied parallel to the somato-dendritic axis of the neurons. The extent of entrainment increases with intensity below 5 mV/mm, but does not increase further over the range of 5-20 mV/mm. These results suggest that population of pyramidal cells might be able to detect electric fields with biologically relevant intensity by modulating the timing of dendritic spikes."


Last modified on 10-Apr-18

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