Differences in the intrinsic membrane characteristics of parabrachial nucleus neurons processing gustatory and visceral information

Motoi Kobashi, Robert M. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Whole-cell current-clamp recordings were made from neurons in the rat parabrachial nucleus (PBN) in three rostro-caudal brain slices. During recording the neurons were located in one of four quadrants of the PBN. Successful recordings were obtained from neurons in three of these quadrants termed the dorsolateral (DL), dorsomedial (DM) and ventromedial (VM) quadrants. Recordings were made of the intrinsic membrane properties and repetitive discharge characteristics of 58 neurons in the DL, 60 neurons in the DM, and 54 neurons in the VM-quadrants. The input resistance of the neurons in the DL quadrant was significantly lower and the membrane time constant significantly shorter than that of the neurons in the DM- and VM-quadrants. The mean action potential duration of the VM-quadrant neurons was significantly longer than that of both DL- and DM-quadrant neurons. The discharge frequency in response to a 1500 ms 100 pA current pulse of the DL quadrant neurons was significantly lower than that of the neurons in the other two quadrants. The latency of action potential initiation following a 100 pA depolarizing current pulse was significantly longer for DL quadrant neurons compared to neurons in the other two quadrants. Neurons were divided into groups based on their response to a long depolarizing current pulse immediately preceded by a hyperpolarizing current pulse. In all three rostro-caudal slices of the PBN, the largest populations of neurons were in Group II and Group III. The results demonstrate that neurons in different locations in the PBN have different membrane and repetitive discharge properties. These different PBN locations receive inputs from the visceral and gustatory regions of the NST. It is possible therefore that the differences in properties of the PBN neurons may relate to the type of sensory information that they process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 1998


  • Brain slice
  • Intrinsic property
  • Parabrachial nucleus
  • Sensory processing
  • Taste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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