In Vivo Development of the Spontaneous Activity of Rat Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic Neurons
Dopaminergic neurons, along with other monoamine neurons, are known to be among the earliest neurons in the central nervous system to differentiate morphologically and neurochemically, and to send axons to their target regions (Olson and Seiger, 1972; Seiger and Olson, 1973; Voorn et al., 1988). Despite our knowledge of the morphological development of dopaminergic neurons, little is known about the time course of the development of the electrophysiological properties of these neurons. If dopaminergic neurons are physiologically functional early in ontogeny, they may play a role in the development of their target structures, analogous to that shown for noradrenergic neurons in a number of studies (Kasamatsu and Pettigrew, 1976; Pettigrew and Kasamatsu, 1976; Blue and Parnevelas, 1982). Information on the development of dopaminergic neurons in situ may also be relevant to our understanding of the physiological functioning of dopaminergic neurons grafted to the dopamine-denervated striatum. Thus the present experiments were carried out to characterize the developmental profile of the in vivo spontaneous activity of rat nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons from birth through maturity.
KeywordsFiring Rate Dopaminergic Neuron Spontaneous Activity Spike Train Firing Pattern
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