Dissection method Affects Electrophysiological Properties of Hippocampal slices

Volume 3 Issue 2
Article Information


The rodent hippocampal slice preparation has long been a critical tool for studying the electrophysiological effects of pharmacological and genetic manipulations. Slices can be prepared with several different slicing methods including the tissue chopper, vibratome, and rotary slicer. To examine how slicing methods affect slice integrity, we generated hippocampal slices by these three methods and compared their histology and electrophysiological responses. Although all three methods generate histological alterations, the time course is slowest in slices generated with a rotary slicer. Furthermore, although paired-pulse facilitation in dendritic field EPSPs was observed in slices generated by all three methods, paired-pulse potentiation in population spikes, which is common in chopper- and vibratome-generated slices was seldom observed in rotary-generated slices, suggesting less disinhibiton. For preservation of hippocampal slice integrity, the rotary slicer may offer advantages over the other two devices.

Key words: Hippocampus; slice preparation; paired-pulse facilitation; paired-pulse depression

Conflict of Interest: Charles F. Zorumski is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Sage Therapeutics. Sage Therapeutics did not fund this research and was not involved in the conduct of this research. Drs. Stein and Izumi have no conflicts of interest to disclose. There are no other competing financial interests.

Acknowledgments: Work in the authors’ lab is supported by MH101874, the Taylor Family Institute and the Bantly Foundation. The authors thank Kazuko Izumi for technical assistance. Liana Roberts Stein, Yukitoshi Izumi, and Charles F. Zorumski designed research, analyzed data, and wrote the manuscript. Liana Roberts Stein, and Yukitoshi Izumi,performed research.