• intracellular recording;
  • synaptic transmission;
  • excitatory amino acids;
  • iontophoresis;
  • ventrobasal thalamus;
  • rat


Excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters, such as l-glutamate, act at several receptors in the brain, which are sometimes referred to as N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors. Extensive in vitro work indicates that both NMDA receptors and non-NMDA receptors contribute to excitatory postsynaptic potentials (epsps). The contribution of NMDA receptors to epsps in vivo under physiological conditions is, however, almost unknown. The receptors that mediate the epsps evoked in thalamic relay cells by natural stimulation of sensory afferents have been investigated in anaesthetized rats, and we report the first pharmacological characterization of an excitatory amino acid receptor-mediated epsp in vivo involving both non-NMDA receptors and, in particular, NMDA receptors.