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Rössert, Christian; Straka, Hans ORCID: 0000-0003-2874-0441; Glasauer, Stefan; Moore, Lee E. (2009): Frequency-domain analysis of intrinsic neuronal properties using high-resistant electrodes. In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol. 3
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Intrinsic cellular properties of neurons in culture or slices are usually studied by the whole cell clamp method using low-resistant patch pipettes. These electrodes allow detailed analyses with standard electrophysiological methods such as current- or voltage-clamp. However, in these preparations large parts of the network and dendritic structures may be removed, thus preventing an adequate study of synaptic signal processing. Therefore, intact in vivo preparations or isolated in vitro whole brains have been used in which intracellular recordings are usually made with sharp, high-resistant electrodes to optimize the impalement of neurons. The general non-linear resistance properties of these electrodes, however, severely limit accurate quantitative studies of membrane dynamics especially needed for precise modelling. Therefore, we have developed a frequency-domain analysis of membrane properties that uses a Piece-wise Nonlinear Electrode Compensation (PNEC) method. The technique was tested in second-order vestibular neurons and abducens motoneurons of isolated frog whole brain preparations using sharp potassium chloride-or potassium acetate-filled electrodes. All recordings were performed without online electrode compensation. The properties of each electrode were determined separately after the neuronal recordings and were used in the frequency-domain analysis of the combined measurement of electrode and cell. This allowed detailed analysis of membrane properties in the frequency-domain with high-resistant electrodes and provided quantitative data that can be further used to model channel kinetics. Thus, sharp electrodes can be used for the characterization of intrinsic properties and synaptic inputs of neurons in intact brains.