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It is becoming increasingly clear that single cortical neurons encode complex and behaviorally relevant signals, but efficient means to study gene functions in small networks and single neurons in vivo are still lacking. Here, we establish a method for genetic manipulation and subsequent phenotypic analysis of individual cortical neurons in vivo. First,(More)
Neurons are continually exposed to background synaptic activity in vivo. This is thought to influence neural information processing, but background levels of excitation and inhibition remain controversial. Here we show, using whole-cell recordings in anesthetized rats, that spontaneous depolarizations ("Up states") in neocortical pyramidal neurons are(More)
Layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons are the most abundant cells of the neocortex. Despite their key position in the cortical microcircuit, synaptic integration in dendrites of L2/3 neurons is far less understood than in L5 pyramidal cell dendrites, mainly because of the difficulties in obtaining electrical recordings from thin dendrites. Here we directly(More)
Sindbis virus-based vectors have been successfully used for transient heterologous protein expression in neurons. Their main limitation arises from infection-associated cytotoxicity, attributed largely to a progressive shut down of host cell protein synthesis. Here we evaluated a modified Sindbis vector, based on a viral strain containing a point mutation(More)
Here we review some properties and functions of backpropagating action potentials in the dendrites of mammalian CNS neurones. We focus on three main aspects: firstly the current techniques available for measuring backpropagating action potentials, secondly the morphological parameters and voltage gated ion channels that determine action potential(More)
Genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicator proteins (FCIPs) are promising tools to study calcium dynamics in many activity-dependent molecular and cellular processes. Great hopes-for the measurement of population activity, in particular-have therefore been placed on calcium indicators derived from the green fluorescent protein and their expression in(More)
Pyramidal neurons in layer 2/3 of the neocortex are central to cortical circuitry, but the intrinsic properties of their dendrites are poorly understood. Here we study layer 2/3 apical dendrites in parallel experiments in acute brain slices and in anesthetized rats using whole-cell recordings and Ca2+ imaging. We find that backpropagation of action(More)
Acetylcholine profoundly affects neocortical function, being involved in arousal, attention, learning, memory, sensory and motor function, and plasticity. The majority of cholinergic afferents to neocortex are from neurons in nucleus basalis. Nucleus basalis also contains projecting neurons that release other transmitters, including GABA and possibly(More)
To explore mechanisms governing the formation, stability, and elimination of synapses during neuronal development, we used FM 1-43 fluorescence imaging to track vesicle turnover at >7000 individually identified developing synapses between embryonic rat hippocampal neurons in culture. The majority of presynaptic boutons were stable in efficacy and position(More)
Phorbol esters enhance release from a variety of cell types. The mechanism by which phorbol esters potentiate presynaptic release from central neurons is unclear, although effects of phorbol esters both on the readily releasable pool of vesicles and on presynaptic calcium channels have been shown. Using confocal microscopy and the fluorescent styryl dye FM(More)