Calcium currents in cultured rat cortical neurons

Marc A. Dichter, Cristina Zona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rat neocortical neurons grown in dissociated cell culture for 4-12 weeks were studied with whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in order to characterize the calcium currents present in these cells. When voltage-dependent Na and K currents were inhibited, depolarizations from negative holding potentials induced inward currents which had 3 components: a low threshold activated, small, relatively persistent component, which was completely inactivated at holding potentials more positive then -60 mV; a higher threshold, relatively persistent component (which was not inactivated at VH = -50 mV); and a higher threshold, larger, transient component. All 3 components were reduced by removal of Ca, and blocked by Cd and Ni at appropriate concentrations. The components were differentially affected by low concentrations of Ni (500 μM), nifedipine (500 μM) and Ba (1.8 mM). Only the first two components were present in very young neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 17 1989


  • Barium
  • Cadmium
  • Calcium current
  • Cortical neuron
  • Nifedipine
  • Voltage clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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