We used dynamic clamp and action potential clamp techniques to explore how currents carried by tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium channels and HCN channels (Ih) regulate the behavior of CA1 pyramidal neurons at resting and subthreshold voltages. Recording from rat CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices, we found that the apparent input resistance and membrane time constant were strongly affected by both conductances, with Ih acting to decrease apparent input resistance and time constant and sodium current acting to increase both. We found that both Ih and sodium current were active during subthreshold summation of artificial EPSPs generated by dynamic clamp, with Ih dominating at less depolarized voltages and sodium current at more depolarized voltages. Subthreshold sodium current -which amplifies EPSPs - was most effectively recruited by rapid voltage changes, while Ih - which blunts EPSPs - was maximal for slow voltage changes. The combined effect is to selectively amplify rapid EPSPs. We did similar experiments in mouse CA1 pyramidal neurons, doing voltage clamp experiments using experimental records of action potential firing of CA1 neurons previously recorded in awake behaving animals as command voltages to quantify flow of Ih and sodium current at subthreshold voltages. Subthreshold sodium current was larger and subthreshold Ih was smaller in mouse neurons than in rat neurons. Overall, the results show opposing effects of subthreshold sodium current and Ih in regulating subthreshold behavior of CA1 neurons, with subthreshold sodium current prominent in both rat and mouse CA1 pyramidal neurons and additional regulation by Ih in rat neurons.
- HCN channels
- Copyright © 2015, Journal of Neurophysiology