Patch-Pipette Recordings from the Soma, Dendrites, and Axon of Neurons in Brain Slices

  • Bert Sakmann
  • Greg Stuart


The brain-slice technique (Yamamoto and McIlwain, 1966; Andersen et al., 1972; Alger et al., 1984) has greatly facilitated the investigation of the electrical properties of neurons and the analysis of synaptic transmission between neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). This is because in brain slices neurons remain healthy, and their connections are preserved to a certain extent while at the same time technical problems encountered in in vivo experiments, such as mechanical instability and difficulties in modifying the extracellular environment, are overcome. To combine the brain-slice technique with the power of the patch-clamp technique therefore offers many advantages.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alger, B. E., Dhanjal, S. S., Dingledine, R., Garthwaite, J., Herderson, G., King, G. L., Lipton, P., North, A., Schwartzkroin, P. A., Sears, T. A., Segal, M., Whittingham, T. S., and Williams, J., 1984, Brain slice methods, in: Brain Slices ( R. Dingledine, ed.), pp. 381–437, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Andersen, P., Bland, B., Skrede, K., Sveen, O., and Westgaard, R., 1972, Single Unit dischange in brain slices maintained in vitro, Acta Physiol. Scand., 84: 1–2a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blanton, M. G., Lo Turco, J. J., and Kriegstein, A. R., 1989, Whole cell recording from neurons in slices of reptilian and mammalian cerebral cortex, J. Neurosci. Methods 30: 203–210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dodt, H.-U., and Zieglgänsberger, W., 1990, Visualizing unstained neurons in living brain slices by infrared DIC-videomicroscopy, Brain Res. 537: 333–336PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Edwards, F. A., Konnerth, A., Sakmann, B., and Takahashi, T., 1989, A thin slice preparation for patch clamp recordings from neurons of the mammalian central nervous system. Pflügers Arch. 414: 600–612.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Konnerth, A., Obaid, A. L., and Salzberg, B. M., 1987, Optical recording of electrical activity from parallel fibres and other cell types in skate cerebellar slices in vitro, J. Physiol. 393: 681–702.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Spruston, N., Jonas, R, and Sakmann, B., 1995, Dendritic glutamate receptor channels in rat hippocampal CA3 and CAI pyramidal neurons. J. Physiol. 482: 325–352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Stuart, G. J., and Sakmann, B., 1994, Active propagation of somatic action potentials into neocortical pyramidal cell dendrites, Nature 367: 69–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Stuart, G. J., Dodt, H.-U., and Sakmann, B., 1993, Patch clamp recordings from the soma and dendrites of neurons in brain slices using infrared video microscopy, Pflügers Arch. 423: 511–518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Takahashi, T., 1978, Intracellular recording from visually identified motoneurons in rat spinal cord slices, Proc R Soc Lond [Biol] 202: 417–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Yamamoto, C., and Mcllwain, H., 1966, Electrical activities in thin sections from the mammalian brain maintained in chemically-defined media in vitro, J. Neurochem. 13: 1333–1343.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bert Sakmann
    • 1
  • Greg Stuart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell PhysiologyMax-Planck Institute for Medical ResearchHeidelbergGermany

Personalised recommendations