Volume 32 Issue 3
May  2011
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PENG Qing-Song, ZHOU Jun, SHI Xia-Ming, HUA Guo-Peng, HUA Tian-Miao. Effects of urethane on the response properties of visual cortical neurons in young adult and old cats. Zoological Research, 2011, 32(3): 337-342. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2011.03337
Citation: PENG Qing-Song, ZHOU Jun, SHI Xia-Ming, HUA Guo-Peng, HUA Tian-Miao. Effects of urethane on the response properties of visual cortical neurons in young adult and old cats. Zoological Research, 2011, 32(3): 337-342. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2011.03337

Effects of urethane on the response properties of visual cortical neurons in young adult and old cats

doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2011.03337
Funds:  Supported by Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (070413138) and the Key Research Foundation of Anhui Province Education Department (KJ2009A167)
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  • Author Bio:

    PENG Qing-Song,

  • Corresponding author: HUA Tian-Miao
  • Received Date: 2010-10-19
  • Rev Recd Date: 2011-02-17
  • Publish Date: 2011-06-22
  • Previous studies have shown that visual cortical neurons in old mammals exhibit higher spontaneous activity, higher responsiveness to visual stimuli, and lower selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions than did neurons in young adult counterparts. However, whether the responsive difference in cortical neurons between young and old animals resulted from different effects induced by anesthetics has remained unclear. To clarify this issue, we recorded the response properties of individual neurons in the primary visual cortex of old and young adult cats while systematically varying the anesthesia level of urethane, a widely used anesthetic in physiology experiments. Our results showed that cumulatively administrating 50 mg and 100 mg of urethane upon the minimal level of urethane required to anesthetize an old or young adult cat did not significantly alter the degree of neuronal response selectivity for stimulus orientations and motion directions nor significantly change the visually-driven response and spontaneous activity of neurons in old and young adult cats. Cumulatively administrating 150 mg of urethane decreased neuronal responsiveness similarly in both age groups. Therefore, urethane appears to exert similar effects on neuronal response properties of old and young adult animals.
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