Inward Rectifying Properties of Nucleus Accumbens Neurones in Vitro

  • N. Uchimura
  • E. Cherubini
  • R. A. North
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 39)


Neurones from the nucleus accumbens septi when recorded in vivo (White and Wang, 1984; Yang and Mogenson, 1984) or in vitro (Uchimura et al., 1989a) have the particular characteristic that they do not fire spontaneously. In fact these cells have a resting membrane potential in the range of -70, -80 mV which is below the threshold for spike activation (-60 mV). Cell excitabi­lity is regulated by a number of extrinsic and intrinsic factors, such as neurotransmitters acting on specific membrane receptors and voltage-gated conductances. Among the voltage-dependent conduc­tances, the anomalous rectifier play a crucial role. This membrane current was first studied by Katz (1949) who noticed that in frog skeletal muscle fibres hyperpolarization is associated with an increase in membrane potassium conductance. It was called anomalous rectification because it operates in the opposite direction to that predicted by the electrodiffusion equation (Goldman, 1943; Hodgkin and Katz, 1949); therefore this current is inwardly directed. Subsequent studies have shown the existence of two classes of inward rectifiers: one with fast kinetics, carried by potassium ions, which is selectively blocked by barium and another, with slow kinetics, selective to sodium and potassium ions, which is insensitive to barium but it is blocked by cesium.


Nucleus Accumbens Rest Membrane Potential Submucous Plexus Substantia Gelatinosa Neuron Frog Skeletal Muscle Fibre 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Uchimura
    • 1
  • E. Cherubini
    • 1
  • R. A. North
    • 1
  1. 1.Vollum InstituteOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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