Microneurography in rats: a minimally invasive method to record single C-fiber action potentials from peripheral nerves in vivo

Serra, Jordi; Bostock, Hugh; Navarro, Xavier (2010). Microneurography in rats: a minimally invasive method to record single C-fiber action potentials from peripheral nerves in vivo. Neuroscience letters, 470(3), pp. 168-74. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.09.061

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Microneurography is a method suitable for recording intraneural single or multiunit action potentials in conscious subjects. Microneurography has rarely been applied to animal experiments, where more invasive methods, like the teased fiber recording technique, are widely used. We have tested the feasibility of microneurographic recordings from the peripheral nerves of rats. Tungsten microelectrodes were inserted into the sciatic nerve at mid-thigh level. Single or multiunit action potentials evoked by regular electrical stimulation were recorded, digitized and displayed as a raster plot of latencies. The method allows unambiguous recording and recognition of single C-fiber action potentials from an in vivo preparation, with minimal disruption of the nerve being recorded. Multiple C-fibers can be recorded simultaneously for several hours, and if the animal is allowed to recover, repeated recording sessions can be obtained from the same nerve at the same level over a period of weeks or months. Also, single C units can be functionally identified by their changes in latency to natural stimuli, and insensitive units can be recognized as 'silent' nociceptors or sympathetic efferents by their distinctive profiles of activity-dependent slowing during repetitive electrical stimulation, or by the effect on spontaneous efferent activity of a proximal anesthetic block. Moreover, information about the biophysical properties of C axons can be obtained from their latency recovery cycles. Finally, we show that this preparation is potentially suitable for the study of C-fiber behavior in models of neuropathies and nerve lesions, both under resting conditions and in response to drug administration.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Bostock, Hugh








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:14

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 19:17

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/3343 (FactScience: 207003)

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