Midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons in vivo exhibit two major firing patterns: single-spike firing and burst firing. The firing pattern expressed is dependent on both the intrinsic properties of the neurons and their excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Experimental data suggest that the activation of NMDA and GABAA receptors is crucial contributor to the initiation and suppression of burst firing, respectively, and that blocking calcium-activated potassium channels can facilitate burst firing. This multi-compartmental model of a DA neuron with a branching structure was developed and calibrated based on in vitro experimental data to explore the effects of different levels of activation of NMDA and GABAA receptors as well as the modulation of the SK current on the firing activity.
Cell Type(s): Substantia nigra pars compacta DA cell
Simulation Environment: NEURON
Implementer(s): Kuznetsova, Anna [anna.kuznetsova at utsa.edu]
Komendantov AO, Komendantova OG, Johnson SW, Canavier CC. (2004). A modeling study suggests complementary roles for GABAA and NMDA receptors and the SK channel in regulating the firing pattern in midbrain dopamine neurons. Journal of neurophysiology. 91 [PubMed]