Early-onset drinking during childhood or preadolescence is a serious social problem. Yet, most of the basic neurobiological research on the acute effects of ethanol has been carried out on adult or early postnatal animals. We studied the effect of alcohol exposure on the basic electrophysiological properties and cell viability of layer 5 pyramidal neurons from the somatosensory cortex of juvenile (P21âP23) C57BL/6N mice. After bath application of 50 mM ethanol to acute slices of the somatosensory cortex, no adverse effects were detected on cells survival, whereas the input resistance and firing rate of layer 5 neurons were significantly reduced. While the effect on the input resistance was reversible, the depressing effect on cell firing remained stable after 6 min of alcohol exposure. Ethanol application did not result in any significant change of mIPSC frequency, amplitude, and rise time. A slight increase of mIPSC decay time was observed after 6 min of ethanol exposure. The molecular mechanisms leading to these alterations and their significance for the physiology of the cerebral cortex are briefly discussed.
- Acute slice
- Cell Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cerebral cortex
- Pyramidal neurons