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Brain Res. 2000 Dec 29;887(2):399-405.

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated synaptic potentials in rat neocortex.

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1
Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

Abstract

In the neocortex, fast excitatory synaptic transmission can typically be blocked by using excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptor antagonists. In recordings from layer II/III neocortical pyramidal neurons, we observed an evoked excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) or current (EPSC) in the presence of EAA receptor antagonists (40-100 microM D-APV+20 microM CNQX, or 5 mM kynurenic acid) plus the GABA(A)-receptor antagonist bicuculline (BIC, 20 microM). This EAA-antagonist resistant EPSC was observed in about 70% of neurons tested. It had a duration of approximately 20 ms and an amplitude of 61.5+/-6.8 pA at -70 mV (n=35). The EAA-antagonist resistant EPSC current-voltage relation was linear and reversed near 0 mV (n=23). The nonselective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DH beta E, 100 microM) or mecamylamine (50 microM) reduced EPSC amplitudes by 42 (n=20) and 33% (n=9), respectively. EPSC kinetics were not significantly changed by either antagonist. Bath application of 10 microM neostigmine, a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, prolonged the EPSC decay time. EAA-antagonist resistant EPSCs were observed in the presence of antagonists of metabotropic glutamate, serotonergic (5-HT(3)) and purinergic (P2) receptors. The EAA-antagonist resistant EPSC appears to be due in part to activation of postsynaptic nAChRs. These results suggest the existence of functional synaptic nAChRs on pyramidal neurons in rat neocortex.

PMID:
11134630
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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