A variety of voltage-dependent calcium conductances are known to control neuronal excitability by boosting peripheral synaptic potentials and by shaping neuronal firing patterns. The existence and functional significance of a differential expression of low- and high-voltage activated (LVA and HVA, respectively) calcium currents in subpopulations of neurons, acutely isolated from different layers of the guinea pig piriform cortex, were investigated with the whole cell variant of the patch-clamp technique. Calcium currents were recorded from pyramidal and multipolar neurons dissociated from layers II, III, and IV. Average membrane capacitance was larger in layer IV cells [13.1 ± 6.2 (SD) pF] than in neurons from layers II and III (8.6 ± 2.8 and 7.9 ± 3.1 pF, respectively). Neurons from all layers showed HVA calcium currents with an activation voltage range positive to -40 mV. Neurons dissociated from layers III and IV showed an LVA calcium current with the biophysical properties of a T-type conductance. Such a current displayed the following characteristics: 1) showed maximal amplitude of 11-16 pA/pF at -30 mV, 2) inactivated rapidly with a time constant of ~22 ms at -30 mV, and 3) was completely steady-state inactivated at -60 mV. Only a subpopulation of layer II neurons (group 2 cells; circa 18%) displayed an LVA calcium current similar to that observed in deep layers. The general properties of layer II- group 2 cells were otherwise identical to those of group 1 neurons. The present study demonstrates that LVA calcium currents are differentially expressed in neurons acutely dissociated from distinct layers of the guinea pig piriform cortex.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Neurophysiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
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