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Characterization of neuronal intrinsic properties and synaptic transmission in layer I of anterior cingulate cortex from adult mice

Xiang-Yao Li12, Tao Chen2, Giannina Descalzi2, Kohei Koga2, Shuang Qiu2 and Min Zhuo12*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Neuron and Disease, Frontier Institute of Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710054, China

2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Medical Science Building, Room #3342, 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A8, Canada

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Molecular Pain 2012, 8:53  doi:10.1186/1744-8069-8-53

Published: 20 July 2012


The neurons in neocortex layer I (LI) provide inhibition to the cortical networks. Despite increasing use of mice for the study of brain functions, few studies were reported about mouse LI neurons. In the present study, we characterized intrinsic properties of LI neurons of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a key cortical area for sensory and cognitive functions, by using whole-cell patch clamp recording approach. Seventy one neurons in LI and 12 pyramidal neurons in LII/III were recorded. Although all of the LI neurons expressed continuous adapting firing characteristics, the unsupervised clustering results revealed five groups in the ACC, including: Spontaneous firing neurons; Delay-sAHP neurons, Delay-fAHP neurons, and two groups of neurons with ADP, named ADP1 and ADP2, respectively. Using pharmacological approaches, we found that LI neurons received both excitatory (mediated by AMPA, kainate and NMDA receptors), and inhibitory inputs (which were mediated by GABAA receptors). Our studies provide the first report characterizing the electrophysiological properties of neurons in LI of the ACC from adult mice.

Spontaneous firing neurons; Layer I; Adult mice; Anterior cingulate cortex; Kainate receptor