Digital processing of the current noise evoked by kainate in cerebellar granule cells

Silvio Cavalcanti, Cristina Zona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current induced in cultured cerebellar granule cells by the bath application of kainate (500 μM) was measured using the conventional patch-clamp technique. Two different kinds of responses were observed after the agonits perfusion. Some cells exhibited small inward whole-cell currents: 116±40 pA (7 cells) at a clamp potential of-60 mV; in other cells, the agonist induced significantly larger currents: 420±35 pA (6 cells) at a clamp potential of -60 mV. The current flowing in the agonist-activated ionic channels was indirectly estimated by processing the fluctuations of whole-cell current by means of an original parametric method. Mean conductance of the underlying channels was then determined from the single-channel current estimated at different clamp potentials. In the cells exhibiting small inward currents, the mean conductance was equal to 0.5±0.2 pS (7 cells), whereas in the cells with large inward currents it was 3±0.4 pS (6 cells). This result gives a coherent explanation of the different kinds of responses observed at macroscopic level in the whole-cell current and confirms that kainate-activated channels can exhibit different levels of conductance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-459
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • Glutamate receptors
  • Ionic channels
  • Noise analysis
  • Patch clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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