Midline thalamic paraventricular nucleus neurons display diurnal variation in resting membrane potentials, conductances, and firing patterns in vitro

Miloslav Kolaj, Li Zhang, Oline K. Rønnekleiv, Leo P. Renaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurons in the rodent midline thalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVT) receive inputs from brain stem and hypothalamic sites known to participate in sleep-wake and circadian rhythms. To evaluate possible diurnal changes in their excitability, we used patch-clamp techniques to record and examine the properties of neurons in anterior PVT (aPVT) in coronal rat brain slices prepared at zeitgeber time (ZT) 2-6 vs. ZT 14-18 and recorded at ZT 8.4 ± 0.2 (day) vs. ZT 21.2 ±0.2 (night), the subjective quiet vs. aroused states, respectively. Compared with neurons recorded during the day, neurons from the night period were significantly more depolarized and exhibited a lower membrane conductance that in part reflected loss of a potassium-mediated conductance. Furthermore, these neurons were also significantly more active, with tonic and burst firing patterns. Neurons from each ZT period were assessed for amplitudes of two conduct ances known to contribute to bursting behavior, i.e., low-threshold-activated Ca 2+ currents (I T) and hyper polarization- activated cation currents (I h). Data revealed that amplitudes of both I T and I h were significantly larger during the night period. In addition, biopsy samples from the night period revealed a significant increase in mRNA for Ca v3.1 and Ca v3.3 low-threshold Ca 2+ channel subtypes. Neurons recorded from the night period also displayed a comparative enhancement in spontaneous bursting at membrane potentials of approximately -60 mV and in burst firing consequent to hyper polarization-induced low-threshold currents and depolarization-induced current pulses. These novel in vitro observations reveal that midline thalamic neurons undergo diurnal changes in their I T, I h, and undefined potassium conductances. The underlying mechanisms remain to be characterized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1835-1844
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume107
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

Keywords

  • Brain slice preparations
  • Burst firing patterns
  • Day-night
  • Midline thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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