Microglial cells in culture are distinct from neurons, macroglial cells, and macrophages of tissues other than brain with respect to their membrane current pattern. To assess these cells in the intact tissue, we have applied the patch-clamp technique to study membrane currents in microglial cells from acute, whole brain slices of 6–9-d- old mice in an area of microglial cell invasion, the cingulum. As strategies to identify microglial cells prior to or after recording, we used binding and incorporation of Dil-acetylated low-density lipoproteins, binding of fluorescein isothiocyanate-coupled IgG via microglial Fc-receptors, and ultrastructural characterization. As observed previously for cultured microglial cells, depolarizing voltage steps activate only minute if any membrane currents, while hyperpolarizing voltage steps induced large inward currents. These currents exhibited properties of the inwardly rectifying K+ channel in that the reversal potential depended on the transmembrane K+ gradient, inactivation time constants decreased with hyperpolarization, and the current was blocked by tetraethylammonium (50 mM). This study represents the first attempt to assess microglial cells in situ using electrophysiological methods. It opens the possibility to address questions related to the function of microglial cells in the intact CNS.