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Vandermaelen CP, Aghajanian GK. 
“Electrophysiological and Pharmacological Characterization of Serotonergic Dorsal Raphe Neurons Recorded Extracellularly and Intracellularly in Rat Brain Slices”. 
Brain Research. 1983;289:109-119.
Extracellular and intracellular recordings were made from dorsal raphe (DR) neurons in frontal rat brain slices maintained in vitro. A population of neurons was found which displayed electrophysiological and pharmacological characteristics of serotonin-containing DR neurons recorded in vivo. Recorded extracellularly, these neurons displayed biphasic or triphasic action potentials of 1.5-3.0 ms duration, and discharged with a slow and steady rhythm. Recorded intracellularly these neurons displayed action potentials of about 1.8 ms duration, which were followed by large (10-20 mV) afterhyperpolarizations which normally lasted 200-800 ms. These presumed serotonergic DR neurons were inhibited by LSD and serotonin. They were excited by norepinephrine, or the a-agonist phenylephrine, and these activations could be reduced or blocked by a-adrenoreceptor antagonists including the selective al-antagonist, prazosin. The major difference between the in vitro recordings and previous in vivo recordings from anesthetized animals was a reduction in the number of spontaneously firing DR neurons. This was probably due, at least in part, to a disfacilitation of serotonergic DR neurons in the slice caused by the functional removal of a tonic noradrenergic input.
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