|Title||Electrophysiological properties of neurons in the basal ganglia of the domestic chick: conservation and divergence in the evolution of the avian basal ganglia|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Authors||Farries MA, Meitzen J, Perkel DJ|
|ISBN Number||0022-3077 (Print)0022-3077 (Linking)|
|Keywords||*Electrophysiology, Antineoplastic Agents, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Basal Ganglia/*cytology/growth & development, Chickens, Choline O-Acetyltransferase/metabolism, Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation, Electric Stimulation/methods, Immunohistochemistry/methods, Lysine/*analogs & derivatives/metabolism, Membrane Potentials/drug effects/physiology/radiation effects, Patch-Clamp Techniques/methods, Neurons/*classification/*physiology|
Although the basal ganglia of birds and mammals share an enormous number of anatomical, histochemical, and electrophysiological characteristics, studies in songbirds have revealed some important differences. Specifically, a specialized region of songbird striatum (the input structure of the basal ganglia) has an anatomical projection and a physiologically defined cell type that are characteristic of the globus pallidus. At present, it is not clear if these differences result from adaptations specific to songbirds and perhaps a few other avian taxa or are common to all birds. We shed some light on this issue by characterizing the morphology and electrophysiological properties of basal ganglia neurons in an avian species that is only distantly related to songbirds: the domestic chick. We recorded neurons in chick basal ganglia in a brain slice preparation, using the whole cell technique. We found that chick striatum, like songbird striatum, contains a pallidum-like cell type never reported in mammalian striatum, supporting the hypothesis that this feature is common to all birds. We also discovered that spiny neurons, the most common cell type in the striatum of all amniotes, possess a diverse set of physiological properties in chicks that distinguish them from both mammals and songbirds. This study revealed an unexpectedly complex pattern of conservation and divergence in the properties of neurons recorded in avian striatum.