Skip to main content

In Vivo Blind Patch-Clamp Recording Technique

  • Protocol

Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


The methods for in vivo blind patch-clamp recording from the spinal cord, brain stem, and cortex neurons are described herein, including the (1) technique for in vivo preparations, (2) recordings of action potential and synaptic potentials under current-clamp conditions and excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents evoked by natural physiological stimulation under voltage-clamp conditions, and (3) identification of recorded neurons and pharmacological characterization of synaptic currents. The signal-to-noise ratio and stability are good using this in vivo recording approach, and it is comparable to that found in vitro. The blind patch technique is a low cost method as it does not require expensive microscopes to visualize the recorded neurons. Furthermore, the relatively wide working space over the recording sites facilitates recordings from deep layers of the brain. Therefore, this blind in vivo technique is suitable for making neural recordings from any region in a wide range of animals from rodents to larger animals.


  • Dorsal Horn Neuron
  • Synaptic Current
  • Recorded Neuron
  • Spinal Dorsal Horn Neuron
  • Superficial Dorsal Horn Neuron

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   49.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD   129.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions

Springer Nature is developing a new tool to find and evaluate Protocols. Learn more


  1. Pei X, Volgushev M, Vidyasagar TR et al (1991) Whole cell recording and conductance measurements in cat visual corztex in-vivo. Neuroreport 2:485–488

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Furue H, Katafuchi T, Yoshimura M (2007) In vivo patch. In: Wolfgang W (ed) Patch-clamp analysis: advanced technique, 2nd edn. The Humana Press, Totowa

    Google Scholar 

  3. Furue H, Narikawa K, Kumamoto E et al (1999) Responsiveness of rat substantia gelatinosa neurones to mechanical but not thermal stimuli revealed by in vivo patch-clamp recording. J Physiol 521:529–535

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Narikawa K, Furue H, Kumamoto E et al (2000) In vivo patch-clamp analysis of IPSCs evoked in rat substantia gelatinosa neurons by cutaneous mechanical stimulation. J Neurophysiol 84:2171–2174

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Loewenstein Y, Mahon S, Chadderton P et al (2005) Bistability of cerebellar Purkinje cells modulated by sensory stimulation. Nat Neurosci 8:202–211

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Chadderton P, Margrie TW, Hausser M (2004) Integration of quanta in cerebellar granule cells during sensory processing. Nature 428:856–860

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Wehr M, Zador AM (2003) Balanced inhibition underlies tuning and sharpens spike timing in auditory cortex. Nature 426:442–446

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Sonohata M, Furue H, Katafuchi T et al (2004) Actions of noradrenaline on substantia gelatinosa neurones in the rat spinal cord revealed by in vivo patch recording. J Physiol 555:515–526

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Kato G, Yasaka T, Katafuchi T et al (2006) Direct GABAergic and glycinergic inhibition of the substantia gelatinosa from the rostral ventromedial medulla revealed by in vivo patch-clamp analysis in rats. J Neurosci 26:1787–1794

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Sugiyama D, Imoto K, Kawamata M et al (2011) Descending noradrenergic controls of spinal nociceptive synaptic transmission. Pain Res 26:1–9

    Google Scholar 

  11. Doi A, Mizuno M, Furue H et al (2003) Method of in-vivo patch clamp recording from somatosensory cortex in rats (in Japanese). Nippon Seirigaku Zasshi 65:322–329

    Google Scholar 

  12. Doi A, Mizuno M, Katafuchi T et al (2007) Slow oscillation of membrane currents mediated by glutamatergic inputs of rat somatosensory cortical neurons: in vivo patch-clamp analysis. Eur J Neurosci 26:2565–2575

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Waynforth HB, Flecknell PA (1992) Administration of substances. In: Experimental and surgical technique in the rat, 2nd edn. Academic, San Diego

    Google Scholar 

  14. Takazawa T, Furue H, Nishikawa K et al (2009) Actions of propofol on substantia gelatinosa neurones in rat spinal cord revealed by in vitro and in vivo patch-clamp recordings. Eur J Neurosci 29:518–528

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Yoshimura M, Nishi S (1993) Blind patch-clamp recordings from substantia gelatinosa neurons in adult rat spinal cord slices: pharmacological properties of synaptic currents. Neuroscience 53:519–526

    CrossRef  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Katano T, Furue H, Okuda-Ashitaka E et al (2008) N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein (NSF) is involved in central sensitization in the spinal cord through GluR2 subunit composition switch after inflammation. Eur J Neurosci 27:3161–3170

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


The author thanks Dr. Tony Pickering for critical comments, helpful suggestions, and especially in vivo recordings from brain stem neurons.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hidemasa Furue .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2012 Springer

About this protocol

Cite this protocol

Furue, H. (2012). In Vivo Blind Patch-Clamp Recording Technique. In: Okada, Y. (eds) Patch Clamp Techniques. Springer Protocols Handbooks. Springer, Tokyo.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Tokyo

  • Print ISBN: 978-4-431-53992-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-4-431-53993-3

  • eBook Packages: Springer Protocols