Critical roles of voltage-dependent sodium channels in the process of synaptogenesis during the postnatal cortical development of rats

Ke Wang, Jihong Cui, Yijun Cai, Fang Wang, Yi Li, Wucheng Tao, Hui Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The developmental changes of the sodium channel and construction of synapse connection were studied in cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons of rats at different age groups. We used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to characterize electrophysiological properties of cortical neurons at different age stages, including the sodium currents, APs evoked by depolarizing current and short-term plasticity of the eEPSCs. The result shows that the sodium currents undergo a hyperpolarizing shift in activation process and acceleration of activation and inactivation with age. The maximal sodium current also increased with maturation, and the evident difference appeared from P7-P11 (with the day of birth as P0) to P12-P15 group. The tendency of the sodium current density changes which exhibited the same properties as that of sodium current, showed the significant increases from P19-P21 to P ? 22 group. The APs' parameters exhibited the age-dependent changes except the threshold, including the increase of the peak amplitude from P ? 6 to P16-P18 groups, and the curtailment of duration and the time-to-peak with age. The amplitude of 1st eEPSC increased with maturation, and STP displays depression at all observed groups. In addition, although STP also exhibited depression in response to last three stimulations in P ? 22 group, the 2nd response showed the tendency of facilitation compared with the younger age groups. Our results indicated that the cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons of rats are undergoing marked changes in the characteristics of their sodium channels with maturation, which play a critical role in synaptogenesis and construction of the neuronal network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1142
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Action potential
  • Cortical neurons
  • Evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents
  • Maturation
  • Short-term plasticity
  • Sodium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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