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Eur J Pharmacol. 2002 Mar 1;438(1-2):53-62.

AMPA-induced Ca(2+) influx in cultured rat cortical nonpyramidal neurones: pharmacological characterization using fura-2 microfluorimetry.

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Rudolf-Boehm-Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität Leipzig, Härtelstrasse 16-18, D-04107 Leipzig, Germany.


Immunocytochemical and Co(2+) uptake studies revealed that in primary cultures of rat cortical neurones, the majority of neurones are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunopositive and can express Ca(2+)-permeable alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. By fura-2 microfluorimetry, it was shown that the stimulation with the selective agonist (S)-AMPA (0.3-300 microM) induced a concentration-dependent but cell-variable increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) (EC(50) value 7.4 microM) in more than 80% of the medium-sized multipolar neurones studied. The AMPA-induced rise in [Ca(2+)](i) seems to be due to Ca(2+) entry through AMPA receptor channels, because the response was abolished in Ca(2+)-free solution and by AMPA receptor selective antagonists, but was not significantly influenced by cyclopiazonic acid, an inhibitor of the endoplasmatic Ca(2+)-ATPase, by selective N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonists, as well as the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin and the majority of tested Ca(2+) channel blockers. In conclusion, the results indicate that the cerebral cortical neurones in culture represent mostly GABAergic interneurone-like cells and the majority of them possess Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors, important for intracellular signal transduction and neuronal plasticity.

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