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Journal Article

A preparation of the blowfly (Calliphora erythrocephala) brain for in vitro electrophysiological and pharmacological studies

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Citation

TM, B., M, E., & A, B. (1995). A preparation of the blowfly (Calliphora erythrocephala) brain for in vitro electrophysiological and pharmacological studies. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 57(1), 37-46. doi:10.1016/0165-0270(94)00121-V.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-ECAC-7
Abstract
We describe a method for the preparation and maintenance of the blowfly (Calliphora erythrocephala) brain in a recording chamber under in vitro conditions in a semi-slice configuration. Large identified neurones in the posterior part of the 3rd optic lobe (lobula plate) can be penetrated easily with microelectrodes. The so-called vertical system (VS) cells which respond to vertical image motion in vivo could be encountered best because their axons are escorted individually by specific tracheae. Fluorescent stained cells show their natural shape as being in vivo. Electrophysiological properties of the cells investigated so far, i.e., resting potential (about -40 mV) and firing properties (single rebound spikes), are comparable to recordings in intact flies. Initial pharmacological experiments on VS cells in this preparation reveal that iontophoretical application of acetylcholine and carbamylcholine results in depolarization. VS cells also respond to bath-applied nicotine (1 mu M) with a slow depolarization of their membrane potential in normal fly saline as well as in a Ca2+-free saline, suggesting direct cholinergic input via nicotinic receptors. The suitability of the preparation for a wide range of electrophysiological and pharmacological studies is discussed.