The whole cell configuration of the patch clamp technique was used to study the biophysical and pharmacological properties of voltage activated Ca2+ channel currents on hippocampal neurones cultured in the presence or absence of foetal calf serum. In the presence of serum cells were intensively immunostained with neurofilament (NF) antibodies. In the absence of serum, cells were non-immunoreactive; they were identified as neurones by their ability to generate action potentials. NF negative cells still expressed both high (HVA) and low (LVA) voltage activated Ca2+ channels. However, in comparison to NF positive neurones, HVA Ca2+ currents present in NF negative neurones had a faster inactivation kinetics.