Neural Plasticity

Neural Plasticity / 2001 / Article

Open Access

Volume 8 |Article ID 682305 |

Heike Endepols, Julia Jungnickel, Katharina Braun, "Physiological and Morphological Characterization of Organotypic Cocultures of the Chick Forebrain Area MNH and its Main Input Area DMA/DMP", Neural Plasticity, vol. 8, Article ID 682305, 22 pages, 2001.

Physiological and Morphological Characterization of Organotypic Cocultures of the Chick Forebrain Area MNH and its Main Input Area DMA/DMP


Cocultures of the learning-relevant forebrain region mediorostrai neostriatum and hyperstriatum ventrale (MNH) and its main glutamatergic input area nucleus dorsomedialis anterior thalami/posterior thalami were morphologically and physiologically characterized. Synaptic contacts of thalamic fibers were lightand electron-microscopically detected on MNH neurons by applying the fluorescence tracer DiI-C18(3) into the thalamus part of the coculture. Most thalamic synapses on MNH neurons were symmetric and located on dendritic shafts, but no correlation between Gray-type ultrastructure and dendritic localization was found. Using intraceilular current clamp recordings, we found that the electrophysiological properties, such as input resistance, time constant, action potential threshold, amplitude, and duration of MNH neurons, remain stable for over 30 days in vitro. Pharmacological blockade experiments revealed glutamate as the main neurotransmitter of thalamic synapses on MNH neurons, which were also found on inhibitory neurons. High frequency stimulation of thalamic inputs evoked synaptic potentiation in 22% of MNH neurons. The results indicate that DMA/DMP-MNH cocultures, which can be maintained under stable conditions for at least 4 weeks, provide an attractive in vitro model for investigating synaptic plasticity in the avian brain.

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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