Synaptic transmission in the neocortex during reversible cooling

M VolgushevU T Eysel


We studied the effects of reversible cooling on synaptic transmission in slices of rat visual cortex. Cooling had marked monotonic effects on the temporal properties of synaptic transmission. It increased the latency of excitatory postsynaptic potentials and prolonged their time-course. Effects were non-monotonic on other properties, such as amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic potentials and generation of spikes. The amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic potentials increased, decreased, or remain unchanged while cooling down to about 20 degrees C, but thereafter it declined gradually in all cells studied. The effect of moderate cooling on spike generation was increased excitability, most probably due to the ease with which a depolarized membrane potential could be brought to spike threshold by a sufficiently strong excitatory postsynaptic potential. Stimuli that were subthreshold above 30 degrees C could readily generate spikes at room temperature. Only at well below 10 degrees C could action potentials be completely suppressed. Paired-pulse facilitation was less at lower temperatures, indicating that synaptic dynamics are different at room temperature as compared with physiological temperatures. These results have important im...Continue Reading


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