Combined Recording of Mechanically Stimulated Afferent Output and Nerve Terminal Labelling in Mouse Hair Follicle Lanceolate Endings

Guy S. Bewick, Peter M. B. Cahusac, Robert W. Banks

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A novel dissection and recording technique is described for monitoring afferent firing evoked by mechanical displacement of hairs in the mouse pinna. The technique is very cost-effective and easily undertaken with materials commonly found in most electrophysiology laboratories, or easily purchased. The dissection is simple and fast, with the mechanical displacement provided by a generic electroceramic wafer controlled by proprietary software. The same software also records and analyses the electroneurogram output. The recording of the evoked nerve activity is through a commercial differential amplifier connected to fire-polished standard glass microelectrodes. Helpful tips are given for improving the quality of the preparation, the stimulation and the recording conditions to optimize recording quality. The system is suitable for assaying the electrophysiological and optical properties of lanceolate terminals of palisade endings of hair follicles, as well as the outcomes from their pharmacological and/or genetic manipulation. An example of combining electrical recording with mechanical stimulation and labeling with a styryl pyridinium vital dye is given.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53854
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016



  • lanceolate endings
  • hair follicle
  • mechanosensation
  • ear
  • skin
  • mouse
  • electrophysiology

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