"Thoracic sympathetic postganglionic neurons (tSPNs) represent the final neural output for control of vasomotor and thermoregulatory function. We used whole-cell recordings and computational modeling to provide broad insight on intrinsic cellular mechanisms controlling excitability and capacity for synaptic integration. Compared to past intracellular recordings using microelectrode impalement, we observed dramatically higher membrane resistivity with primacy in controlling enhanced tSPN excitability and recruitment via synaptic integration. Compared to reported phasic firing, all tSPNs fire repetitively and linearly encode injected current magnitude to firing frequency over a broad range. Modeling studies suggest microelectrode impalement injury accounts for differences in tSPN properties previously observed. Overall, intrinsic tSPN excitability plays a much greater role in the integration and maintenance of sympathetic output than previously thought."
Model Type: Neuron or other electrically excitable cell
Simulation Environment: Python