Juxtasomal biocytin labeling to study the structure-function relationship of individual cortical neurons.

R.T. Narayanan, H. Mohan, R. Broersen, R. de Haan, A.W. Pieneman, C.P.J. de Kock

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The cerebral cortex is characterized by multiple layers and many distinct cell-types that together as a network are responsible for many higher cognitive functions including decision making, sensory-guided behavior or memory. To understand how such intricate neuronal networks perform such tasks, a crucial step is to determine the function (or electrical activity) of individual cell types within the network, preferentially when the animal is performing a relevant cognitive task. Additionally, it is equally important to determine the anatomical structure of the network and the morphological architecture of the individual neurons to allow reverse engineering the cortical network. Technical breakthroughs available today allow recording cellular activity in awake, behaving animals with the valuable option of post hoc identifying the recorded neurons. Here, we demonstrate the juxtasomal biocytin labeling technique, which involves recording action potential spiking in the extracellular (or loose-patch) configuration using conventional patch pipettes The juxtasomal recording configuration is relatively stable and applicable across behavioral conditions, including anesthetized, sedated, awake head-fixed, and even in the freely moving animal. Thus, this method allows linking cell-type specific action potential spiking during animal behavior to reconstruction of the individual neurons and ultimately, the entire cortical microcircuit. In this video manuscript, we show how individual neurons in the juxtasomal configuration can be labeled with biocytin in the urethane-anaesthetized rat for post hoc identification and morphological reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51359
Pages (from-to)e51359
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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