Responses of intracellularly recorded cortical neurons to the iontophoretic application of dopamine

G. Bernardi, E. Cherubini, M. G. Marciani, N. Mercuri, P. Stanzione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considering that a well-defined dopaminergic projection from the mesencephalic structures to that rat frontal cortex has been demonstrated, the purpose of this research was to study the action of iontophoretically applied dopamine (DA) on intracellularly recorded rat frontal neurons. The stimulation of the substantia nigra (SN) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) evoked EPSP-IPSP sequences in these cells. About 50% of the tested neurons, widely distributed in all the frontal cortex, responded to DA application and no difference in the response to DA was observed between neurons with monosynaptic inputs and neurons with polysynaptic inputs. The catecholamine depolarized the cell membrane and decreased the firing rate, generally without significant changes in membrane resistance, as already observed in rat and cat striatal cells. In some neurons the decrease of the spikes preceded the membrane depolarization. Considering the complex effect of DA on the electrical properties of these neurons, these results seem to be indicative of a mechanism of action dependent on metabolic changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 1982


  • dopamine iontophoretically applied
  • intracellular recording
  • rat frontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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