Electrogenesis in mouse neuroblastoma cells In vitro

P. G. Nelson, J. H. Peacock, T. Amano, J. Minna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intracellular microelectrode studies of passive membrane properties and action potential generation were carried out on cloned and uncloned mouse neuroblastoma cells in tissue culture. The cloned cells were studied between the eighth and tenth months and the uncloned cells between the third and fifth weeks after primary dissociation. Electrophysiologic measurements of cell membrane properties were made by passing stimulating current pulses across the cell membrane from an intracellular microelectrode and recording simultaneously from the same electrode, by means of a bridge circuit, the changes in membrane potential. The range of responses to electrical stimulation varied from passive increases in membrane potential to repetitive firing of action potentials. A 20 fold range in spike generating capability was found. Passive membrane properties (membrane potential, specific membrane resistivity, and specific membrane capacitance) were similar to those of sympathetic neurons in intact preparations. Seventy‐nine percent of the cloned cell line compared to 94% of the uncloned line were capable of generating action potentials. Less than 2% of the cloned cells showed repetitive firing whereas 23% of the uncloned cells had this property. As in several types of normal neurons, the action potential mechanism was largely, although not completely, blocked by iontophoretic and bath applied tetrodotoxin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-352
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of cellular physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1971

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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