Combining in vivo retrograde labeling and in vitro electrophysiological recording techniques, we examined the distributions, densities, and biophysical properties of hyperpolarization-activated inward currents in two types of isolated, identified visual cortical projection neurons, superior colliculus-projecting (SCP) and callosal-projecting (CP) cells. In SCP cells, two kinetically distinct time-dependent hyperpolarization-activated inward current components are present. We have termed these Ih,l, and Ih,s to denote the fast and slow components, respectively, of Ih activation. In CP cells, in contrast, Ih,l and Ih,s are differentially expressed. In 59% of the CP cells examined, for example, both Ih,l and Ih,s were present. The properties of the currents are indistinguishable from those recorded from SCP cells, although both Ih,l and Ih,s are expressed at significantly lower densities in this subset of CP cells (as compared to the current densities in SCP cells). Of the remaining 41% of the CP cells studied, 26% were found to express only Ih,s, and 12% of the cells expressed neither Ih,l nor Ih,s. Taken together, these results reveal that the electrical properties of CP visual cortical neurons are considerably more heterogeneous than those of SCP cells. The differential expression of Ih,l and Ih,s is expected to influence the integrated responses of different types of cortical projection neurons to excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5082-5091
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1993


  • Fluorescent beads
  • Identified neurons
  • Patch clamp
  • Postinhibitory excitation
  • Voltage clamp


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