Quantitative and statistical analysis of the shape of amperometric spikes recorded from two populations of cells

Thomas L. Colliver, Ellen J. Hess, Emmanuel N. Pothos, David Sulzer, Andrew G. Ewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Previously used methods of comparing amperometric spike characteristics from two separate groups of cells have entailed pooling all the values for a spike characteristic from each group of cells and then statistically comparing the two samples. Although this approach has indicated that there are significant differences between the spike characteristics from coloboma and control mouse chromaffin cells, the results are not consistent between experiments. We have reexamined the assumptions of the statistical tests used as well as the variability inherent in amperometric data measured from two groups of cells. Our findings indicate that when comparing amperometric spike characteristics between groups of cells, it is more appropriate to compare samples of mean spike values. This method consistently indicates that there is no difference between coloboma and control amperometric spikes. These results have been validated by using samples of mean spike characteristics to detect changes in the shape of amperometric spikes from both mouse chromaffin cells at 37°C and PC12 cells previously exposed to 50 μM L-3,4- dihydroxyphenylalanine and by the use of an additional analysis method, the nested ANOVA. Together, these results indicate that pooled samples of amperometric spike characteristics can give results that may confound the interpretation of amperometric data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1097
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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