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Physiol Res. 1998;47(5):365-75.

Glutamate-, kainate- and NMDA-evoked membrane currents in identified glial cells in rat spinal cord slice.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

Abstract

The effect of L-glutamate, kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) on membrane currents of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and their respective precursors was studied in acute spinal cord slices of rats between the ages of postnatal days 5 and 13 using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. L-glutamate (10(-3) M), kainate (10(-3) M), and NMDA (2x10(-3) M) evoked inward currents in all glial cells. Kainate evoked larger currents in precursors than in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, while NMDA induced larger currents in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes than in precursors. Kainate-evoked currents were blocked by the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist CNQX (10(-4) M) and were, with the exception of the precursors, larger in dorsal than in ventral horns, as were NMDA-evoked currents. Currents evoked by NMDA were unaffected by CNQX and, in contrast to those seen in neurones, were not sensitive to Mg2+. In addition, they significantly decreased during development and were present when synaptic transmission was blocked in a Ca2+-free solution. NMDA-evoked currents were not abolished during the block of K+ inward currents in glial cells by Ba2+; thus they are unlikely to be mediated by an increase in extracellular K+ during neuronal activity. We provide evidence that spinal cord glial cells are sensitive to the application of L-glutamate, kainate and transiently, during postnatal development, to NMDA.

PMID:
10052606
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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