Local infusion of calcium-free solutions in vivo activates locus coeruleus neurons

Ramin Shiekhattar, Gary Aston-Jones, Chiang Carl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Microinfusion of calcium (Ca++)-free artificial cerebrospinal fluid onto locus coeruleus (LC) neurons in vivo potently increased their discharge rate, while response of these cells to a sensory stimulus was significantly reduced. These effects resulted in part from interference with the calcium-dependent potassium conductance in these neurons, as microinfusions of solutions having barium substituted for calcium partially mimicked the effects of Ca++-free infusions. In addition, microinfusion of control medium containing the Ca++ channel blocker, cadmium (2-20 mM), also mimicked the effect of the Ca++-free solution. This study presents an effective means by which extracellular concentrations of neuromodulatory ions can be manipulated in vivo. In addition, these results indicate that extracellular Ca++ potently modulates the spontaneous as well as evoked activity of central noradrenergic neurons in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Barium
  • Cadmium
  • Calcium
  • Calcium-dependent potassium conductance
  • Extracellular fluid
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Micropressure application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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