Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 401, Issue 4, pp 324–332 | Cite as

Electrical properties of oligodendrocytes in culture

  • H. Kettenmann
  • U. Sonnhof
  • H. Camerer
  • S. Kuhlmann
  • R. K. Orkand
  • M. Schachner
Excitable Tissues and Central Nervous


The electrical properties of immunocytologically identified oligondendrocytes from embryonic mouse spinal cord maintained in culture for 3 to 6 weeks were studied by passing current and recording potential changes with two separate intracellular electrodes. The average input resistance was 3.3 M Ω and ranged from 0.7 to 16 M Ω (n=35). The input resistance increased by 19% with depolarization and decreased by 9% with hyperpolarization of 25 mV. The membrane time constant determined from the slope of the late exponential tail was 3.45±2.5 ms SD (n=15). The specific membrane resistance of three cells was determined by a simplified square pulse analysis combined with measurement of membrane area. Membrane area was estimated from photomicrographs of cells injected with Lucifer Yellow CH and stained with the cell surface-reactive antibody 04 and from electron micrographs. An average specific membrane resistance of 1.3×103 Ωcm2 and specific capacitance of 1.7 μF/cm2 were calculated. Increasing [K+]o depolarized the cells and decreased the input resistance and the time constant.

Key words

Membrane properties Oligodendrocytes Neuroglia Electrical properties Potassium Mouse Spinal cord Nervous system Culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Kettenmann
    • 1
  • U. Sonnhof
    • 1
  • H. Camerer
    • 2
  • S. Kuhlmann
    • 1
  • R. K. Orkand
    • 1
  • M. Schachner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurophysiologyMax-Planck-Institute for PsychiatryMunich 40Germany

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