Frequency-dependent signal processing in apical dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells

H. Watanabe, H. Tsubokawa, M. Tsukada, T. Aihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Depending on an animal's behavioral state, hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells receive distinct patterns of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. The time-dependent changes in the frequencies of these inputs and the nonuniform distribution of voltage-gated channels lead to dynamic fluctuations in membrane conductance. In this study, using a whole-cell patch-clamp method, we attempted to record and analyze the frequency dependencies of membrane responsiveness in Wistar rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells following noise current injection directly into dendrites and somata under pharmacological blockade of all synaptic inputs. To estimate the frequency-dependent properties of membrane potential, membrane impedance was determined from the voltage response divided by the input current in the frequency domain. The cell membrane of most neurons showed low-pass filtering properties in all regions. In particular, the properties were strongly expressed in the somata or proximal dendrites. Moreover, the data revealed nonuniform distribution of dendritic impedance, which was high in the intermediate segment of the apical dendritic shaft (~220-260. μm from the soma). The low-pass filtering properties in the apical dendrites were more enhanced by membrane depolarization than those in the somata. Coherence spectral analysis revealed high coherence between the input signal and the output voltage response in the theta-gamma frequency range, and large lags emerged in the distal dendrites in the gamma frequency range. Our results suggest that apical dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells integrate synaptic inputs according to the frequency components of the input signal along the dendritic segments receiving the inputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-210
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Apical dendrite
  • Frequency-dependent property
  • Hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell
  • Membrane impedance
  • Noise current injection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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