Intrinsic and synaptic properties of turtle red nucleus neurons in vitro

Joyce Keifer*, James C. Houk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Burst discharges in the red nucleus are correlated with discrete limb movements. Intracellular recordings from red nucleus neurons in the in vitro turtle brainstem-cerebellum was performed to elucidate mechanisms underlying these bursts. Depolarizing intracellular current injection failed to demonstrate endogenous membrane currents that might produce burst discharges, and neurons did not exhibit significant spike frequency adaptation, which is a characteristic of synaptically driven bursts. Responses of red nucleus neurons to synaptic input demonstrated a late slow depolarizing synaptic potential (slow EPSP) having a latency of 9-12 ms, and a maximal duration of 600 ms. it is concluded that neither intrinsic membrane responses, nor the duration of the slow EPSP, can fully account for the behavior of red nucleus neurons during burst discharge. We hypothesize that activity in the red nucleus is driven by a gradual recruitment of NMDA receptors, and 1 pr by polysynaptic excitatory pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-352
Number of pages4
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 16 1993


  • Excitatory amino acid
  • In vitro
  • Red nucleus
  • Slow EPSP
  • Turtle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Intrinsic and synaptic properties of turtle red nucleus neurons in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this