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Neuron. 1990 Mar;4(3):379-91.

Inhibition of Ca2+ and K+ channels in sympathetic neurons by neuropeptides and other ganglionic transmitters.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Beckman Center, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, California 94305.


Neuropeptides are known to modulate the excitability of frog sympathetic neurons by inhibiting the M-current and increasing the leak current, but their effects on Ca2+ channels are poorly understood. We compared effects of LHRH, substance P, epinephrine, and muscarine on Ca2+, K+, and leak currents in dissociated frog sympathetic neurons. At concentrations that inhibit M-current, LHRH and substance P strongly reduced N-type Ca2+ current and induced a leak conductance that may contribute to slow EPSPs. In contrast, muscarine produced little reduction of Ca2+ current, even in cells in which it strongly suppressed the M-current. We find that peptidergic inhibition of Ca2+ channels involves G proteins, but does not require protein kinases. In addition, it leads to reductions in Ca2(+)-activated K+ current and catecholamine release.

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