Multiple sites for the initiation of action potentials in neurons of the inferior mesenteric ganglion of the guinea-pig

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Responses to nerve stimulation were recorded with intracellular microelectrodes from neurons in the inferior mesenteric ganglion of the guinea-pig. An event was recorded which was subthreshold for a somatic action potential but which had a short rise time and a rapid initial repolarization that gave the event a small but well-defined peak. This event was termed a "partial spike". During repeated stimulation of the same nerve trunk, the fluctuations in the amplitude of the partial spike were small compared to those of evoked synaptic potentials. Stimulation of different nerve trunks evoked partial spikes of different amplitudes. When different nerve trunks were stimulated at short intervals between stimuli, one partial spike could occlude another partial spike. Antidromic responses could not be blocked by a preceding partial spike. This suggests that partial spikes are not initial segment spikes. Tubocurarine reversibly abolished partial spikes which is indicative of a synaptic origin. It is concluded that partial spikes result from action potentials initiated by synaptic potentials in the dendrites and which fail to generate somatic action potentials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1987

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