Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 374, Issue 3, pp 265–275

Intracellular study of electrical activity of Auerbach's plexus in guinea-pig small intestine

  • J. D. Wood
  • C. J. Mayer
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous Physiology

DOI: 10.1007/BF00585604

Cite this article as:
Wood, J.D. & Mayer, C.J. Pflugers Arch. (1978) 374: 265. doi:10.1007/BF00585604


Intracellular recording revealed two general categories of ganglion cells in Auerbach's plexus. The characteristics of one category were relatively low resting potentials, high input resistance, discharge of spikes throughout a depolarizing current pulse, stimulus-evoked synaptic potentials and spontaneous electrical activity. Characteristics of the second category were high resting potentials, low input resistance, spikes only at the onset of a depolarizing current pulse and long duration hyperpolarizing after-potentials. Responses to extracellular electrical stimulation of the ganglia and interganglionic fiber tracts consisted of electrotonic spread of spikes from the processes to the cell soma, somal action potentials and depolarizing and hyperpolarizing responses that were probably EPSPs and IPSPs. Some of the neurons which received excitatory synaptic input responded with a prolonged train of spikes that outlasted by many seconds the duration of the stimulus to the fiber tract. Spontaneous electrical activity consisted of single EPSPs, patterned bursts of spikes that originated in the cell processes and spread electrotonically to, the recording site, IPSPs and action potentials. The burst-type activity showed periodic conversions from a burst pattern to a trainlike pattern of continuous discharge. Spontaneous discharge of single action potentials was superimposed upon a background of continuous synaptic input to the cell. Spontaneously occurring hyperpolarizing potentials were converted to depolarizing potentials when the membrane was hyperpolarized by current injected through the recording electrode.

Key words

NeurophysiologyGastrointestinal functionMyenteric plexusEnteric neuronsAutonomic nervous system

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Wood
    • 2
  • C. J. Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisches InstitutUniversität MünchenMünchen 2Germany
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA