Properties of basal dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a direct patch-clamp recording study

Nevian, Thomas; Larkum, Matthew E; Polsky, Alon; Schiller, Jackie (2007). Properties of basal dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a direct patch-clamp recording study. Nature neuroscience, 10(2), pp. 206-14. New York, N.Y.: Nature America 10.1038/nn1826

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Basal dendrites receive the majority of synapses that contact neocortical pyramidal neurons, yet our knowledge of synaptic processing in these dendrites has been hampered by their inaccessibility for electrical recordings. A new approach to patch-clamp recordings enabled us to characterize the integrative properties of these cells. Despite the short physical length of rat basal dendrites, synaptic inputs were electrotonically remote from the soma (>30-fold excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) attenuation) and back-propagating action potentials were significantly attenuated. Unitary EPSPs were location dependent, reaching large amplitudes distally (>8 mV), yet their somatic contribution was relatively location independent. Basal dendrites support sodium and NMDA spikes, but not calcium spikes, for 75% of their length. This suggests that basal dendrites, despite their proximity to the site of action potential initiation, do not form a single basal-somatic region but rather should be considered as a separate integrative compartment favoring two integration modes: subthreshold, location-independent summation versus local amplification of incoming spatiotemporally clustered information.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Nevian, Thomas






Nature America




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:53

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:15

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URI: (FactScience: 33879)

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