[en] Spontaneous apamin-sensitive hyperpolarizations in dopaminergic neurons of neonatal rats. J. Neurophysiol. 80: 3361-3364, 1998. Intracellular recordings from substantia nigra slices revealed the existence of spontaneous hyperpolarizations (amplitude 2-8 mV, duration 100-400 ms) at -60 mV in most dopaminergic neurons of neonatal (9-15 days) but not adult rats. These events were blocked by apamin (300 nM) and bicuculline methochloride (100-300 microM), which blocks apamin-sensitive currents. They were unaffected by the selective gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) antagonists SR95531 (100 microM) and picrotoxin (30-50 microM), the GABAB antagonist CGP35348 (300 microM), the D2 antagonist haloperidol (1 microM), and the metabotropic antagonist MCPG (1 mM). The hyperpolarizations were strongly attenuated or abolished when recording electrodes contained 200 mM 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid. They were resistant to tetrodotoxin in the majority of the cells. They had some voltage dependency and were in some cases transiently potentiated when cells were briefly depolarized by current injection. We conclude that dopaminergic neurons have developmentally regulated physiological properties. These spontaneous hyperpolarizations might affect the firing rate of these cells, which was found to be lower in neonates than in adults.