, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 329–331 | Cite as

Expression of Channelrhodopsin-2 Using in Suspension Electroporation for Studying the Monosynaptic Transmission in Neuronal Culture

  • Natalia Bal
  • Aleksey Malyshev
  • Ivan Smirnov
  • Pavel Balaban


Understanding the mechanism of synaptic transmission and its plasticity is one of the central goals of modern neuroscience. Neuronal culture is a very convenient model for studying mechanisms of synaptic transmission. However, investigation of two or more synaptically connected neurons in culture by conventional methods is a difficult task. In this study, we describe new protocol for studying the synaptic transmission between cultured neurons using in suspension electroporation for the expression of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) which was applied to only certain subpopulation of cultured cells, leaving the majority of neurons completely untreated. We show that this technique allows reliable long-lasting (hours) recording of monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in cultured hippocampal neurons using a repeated light stimulation of neighboring ChR2-expressing neurons.


Electroporation Neuronal culture Channelrhodopsin Optogenetics Synaptic transmission 



This research was funded by the Russian Science Foundation grant 14-25-00072 (neuronal cell culture and development of the electroporation protocol) and by RFBR grant no. 15-04-06286 (whole cell recording with optical stimulation).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All experimental procedures were conducted in accordance with the European Communities Council Directive of 24 November 1986 (86/609/ EEC) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of RAS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of RASMoscowRussia

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