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Mendez-Rodriguez, Beatriz S; Arias-Garcia, Mario A; Tapia, Dagoberto; Laville, Antonio; Bargas, Jose; Galarraga, Elvira (2021)


Neuroscience 458():153-165
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Differences in the intrinsic properties of intralaminar thalamo-striatal neurons such as expressing low-threshold-spikes (LTS) or after hyperpolarizing potentials (AHPs) of different duration have been attributed to different maturation stages. However, two morphological types: "diffuse" and "bushy" have been described. Therefore, we explored whether electrophysiological differences persist in adult mice using whole cell recordings. Some recorded neurons were identified by intracellular labeling with biocytin and double labeling with retrograde or anterograde tracings using Cre-mice. We classified these neurons by their AHPs during spontaneous firing. Neurons with long duration AHPs, with fast and slow components, were mostly found in the parafascicular (Pf) nucleus. Neurons with brief AHPs were mainly found in the central lateral (CL) nucleus. However, neurons with both AHPs were found in both nuclei in different proportions. Firing frequency adaptation differed between these neuron classes: those with prolonged AHPs exhibited firing frequency adaptation with fast and slow time constants whereas those with brief AHPs were slow adapters. Neurons with more prolonged AHPs had significant higher input resistances than neurons with brief AHPs. Both cell classes could fire in two modes: trains of single action potentials at depolarized potentials or high frequency bursts on top of LTS at more hyperpolarized potentials. LTS were probably generated by Cav3 calcium channels since they were blocked by the selective antagonist TTA-P2. About 11% of neurons with brief AHPs and 55% of neurons with prolonged AHPs do not show LTS and bursts, even when potassium currents are blocked.