Selective Depression of Organotypic Bioelectric Activities of CNS Tissue Cultures by Pharmacologic and Metabolic Agents

  • Stanley M. Crain
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


Electrophysiologic studies of fetal rodent cerebral cortex and spinal cord explants have demonstrated that small fragments (ca. 1 cu mm) of these tissues can generate progressively more complex organotypic bioelectric activities as they mature in culture (e.g. Fig. 1; Crain, 1966, 1969; Crain and Bornstein, 1964; Crain and Peterson, 1964, 1967). The present studies emphasize the pharmacologic properties of these CNS explants, and they illustrate the value of this model system to supplement analyses of factors which regulate excitability of the central nervous system in situ especially during development. Attention will be focused primarily on two groups of chemical agents: a) those which depress all types of Ca++-dependent, synaptically mediated activities by decreasing availability of Ca++ to the neural tissue; and b) those which depress synaptic network discharges by selective effects at inhibitory receptor sites, e.g., hyperpolarization or increased membrane conductance, in mimicry of inhibitory transmitters.


Balance Salt Solution Functional Development Bioelectric Activity Spinal Cord Explants Selective Depression 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley M. Crain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Human Development, Albert Einstein College of MedicineYeshiva UniversityBronxUSA

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