Membrane potential dynamics of axons in cultured hippocampal neurons probed by second-harmonic-generation imaging

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Abstract

The electrical properties of axons critically influence the nature of communication between neurons. However, due to their small size, direct measurement of membrane potential dynamics in intact and complex mammalian axons has been a challenge. Furthermore, quantitative optical measurements of axonal membrane potential dynamics have not been available. To characterize the basic principles of somatic voltage signal propagation in intact axonal arbors, second-harmonic-generation (SHG) imaging is applied to cultured mouse hippocampal neurons. When FM4-64 is applied extracellularly to dissociated neurons, whole axonal arbors are visualized by SHG imaging. Upon action potential generation by somatic current injection, nonattenuating action potentials are recorded in intact axonal arbors. Interestingly, however, both current-and voltage-clamp recordings suggest that nonregenerative subthreshold somatic voltage changes at the soma are poorly conveyed to these axonal sites. These results reveal the nature of membrane potential dynamics of cultured hippocampal neurons, and further show the possibility of SHG imaging in physiological investigations of axons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020503
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

axons
Harmonic generation
neurons
Neurons
harmonic generations
membranes
Membranes
Imaging techniques
Electric potential
electric potential
Clamping devices
Carisoprodol
clamps
Electric properties
optical measurement
mice
communication
recording
electrical properties
Axons

Keywords

  • Action potential
  • Axon
  • Cells
  • Culture
  • Imaging
  • Neuron
  • Second harmonic generation
  • Voltage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this

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abstract = "The electrical properties of axons critically influence the nature of communication between neurons. However, due to their small size, direct measurement of membrane potential dynamics in intact and complex mammalian axons has been a challenge. Furthermore, quantitative optical measurements of axonal membrane potential dynamics have not been available. To characterize the basic principles of somatic voltage signal propagation in intact axonal arbors, second-harmonic-generation (SHG) imaging is applied to cultured mouse hippocampal neurons. When FM4-64 is applied extracellularly to dissociated neurons, whole axonal arbors are visualized by SHG imaging. Upon action potential generation by somatic current injection, nonattenuating action potentials are recorded in intact axonal arbors. Interestingly, however, both current-and voltage-clamp recordings suggest that nonregenerative subthreshold somatic voltage changes at the soma are poorly conveyed to these axonal sites. These results reveal the nature of membrane potential dynamics of cultured hippocampal neurons, and further show the possibility of SHG imaging in physiological investigations of axons.",
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