Steep decrease in the specific membrane resistance in the apical dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons

Toshiaki Omori, Toru Aonishi, Hiroyoshi Miyakawa, Masashi Inoue, Masato Okada

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Specific membrane resistance (Rm), distributed non-uniformly over the dendrite, has a substantial effect on neuronal information processing, since it is a major determinant in subthreshold-synaptic integration. From experimental data of dendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) spread, we previously reported that non-uniform Rm distribution in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons could be expressed as a step function. However, it remains unclear how steeply Rm decreases. Here, we estimated the Rm distribution using sigmoid function to evaluate the steepness of decrease in Rm. Simulations were performed to find the distribution which reproduced experimental voltage responses to extracellular electric field applied to CA1 slices, in contrast to the EPSP spread. Distribution estimated from the responses to electric field was a steep-sigmoid function, similar to that from the EPSP spread. Rm in distal dendrite was estimated to be ≲ 103.5 Ω c m2 whereas that in proximal dendrite/soma was ≳ 104.5 Ω c m2. Our results not only supported previous studies, but, surprisingly, implied that Rm decreases at a location more distal, and that distal dendrite was leakier, than previous estimates by other groups. Simulations satisfactorily reproduced the responses to two distinct perturbations, suggesting that steep decrease in Rm is reliable. Our study suggests that the non-uniform Rm distribution plays an important role in information processing for spatially segregated synaptic inputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May


  • Dendrite
  • Detailed compartment model
  • EPSP spread
  • Extracellular electric field
  • Hippocampus
  • Passive membrane property
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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