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Chin J Physiol. 2000 Mar 31;43(1):23-8.

Arecoline excites rat locus coeruleus neurons by activating the M2-muscarinic receptor.

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1
Faculty of Physical Therapy, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.

Abstract

The action of arecoline on rat locus coeruleus neurons was studied by intracellular recording from the in vitro brain slice preparation. Superfusion of arecoline (0.1-100 microM) caused two dose-related effects, an increased firing rate and, in neurons previously hyperpolarized to a constant potential by passing a steady hyperpolarizing current across the membrane, depolarization. Both effects were associated with a reduction in membrane input resistance. Moreover, the arecoline-induced excitatory effects were antagonized by the muscarinic receptor antagonist, atropine, but not by the nicotinic receptor antagonist, hexamethonium. Methoctramine, a selective M2-muscarinic receptor antagonist, was also effective in reversing the arecoline-induced effects, with a dissociation equilibrium constant of 14.2+/-1.2 nM (n=6). These results therefore suggest that arecoline exerts its excitatory actions by binding to M2-muscarinic receptors on the cell membrane of neurons of the locus coeruleus.

PMID:
10857465
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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