It is becoming clear that the detection and integration of synaptic input and its conversion into an output signal in cortical neurons are strongly influenced by background synaptic activity or "noise." The majority of this noise results from the spontaneous release of synaptic transmitters, interacting with ligand-gated ion channels in the postsynaptic neuron [Berretta N, Jones RSG (1996); A comparison of spontaneous synaptic EPSCs in layer V and layer II neurones in the rat entorhinal cortex in vitro. J Neurophysiol 76:1089-1110; Jones RSG, Woodhall GL (2005) Background synaptic activity in rat entorhinal cortical neurons: differential control of transmitter release by presynaptic receptors. J Physiol 562:107-120; LoTurco JJ, Mody I, Kriegstein AR (1990) Differential activation of glutamate receptors by spontaneously released transmitter in slices of neocortex. Neurosci Lett 114:265-271; Otis TS, Staley KJ, Mody I (1991) Perpetual inhibitory activity in mammalian brain slices generated by spontaneous GABA release. Brain Res 545:142-150; Ropert N, Miles R, Korn H (1990) Characteristics of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurones of rat hippocampus. J Physiol 428:707-722; Salin PA, Prince DA (1996) Spontaneous GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory currents in adult rat somatosensory cortex. J Neurophysiol 75:1573-1588; Staley KJ (1999) Quantal GABA release: noise or not? Nat Neurosci 2:494-495; Woodhall GL, Bailey SJ, Thompson SE, Evans DIP, Stacey AE, Jones RSG (2005) Fundamental differences in spontaneous synaptic inhibition between deep and superficial layers of the rat entorhinal cortex. Hippocampus 15:232-245]. The function of synaptic noise has been the subject of debate for some years, but there is increasing evidence that it modifies or controls neuronal excitability and, thus, the integrative properties of cortical neurons. In the present study we have investigated a novel approach [Rudolph M, Piwkowska Z, Badoual M, Bal T, Destexhe A (2004) A method to estimate synaptic conductances from membrane potential fluctuations. J Neurophysiol 91:2884-2896] to simultaneously quantify synaptic inhibitory and excitatory synaptic noise, together with postsynaptic excitability, in rat entorhinal cortical neurons in vitro. The results suggest that this is a viable and useful approach to the study of the function of synaptic noise in cortical networks.
|Number of pages||9|
|Early online date||28 Jun 2007|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Jul 2007|
Bibliographical note© 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IBRO. Open access under CC BY license.
- background excitation
- background inhibition
- entorhinal cortex
- neuronal excitability
- synaptic noise
- voltage fluctuations