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J Neurochem. 1992 Dec;59(6):2148-57.

Differential effects of tetanus toxin on inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter release from mammalian spinal cord cells in culture.

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Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The effect of tetanus toxin on depolarization-evoked and spontaneous synaptic release of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters was examined in murine spinal cord cell cultures. Toxin action on the release of radiolabeled glycine and glutamate was followed over time intervals corresponding to the early phase of convulsant activity through the later phase of electrical quiescence. Tetanus toxin inhibited potassium-evoked release of [3H]glycine and [3H]glutamate in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Ninety minutes after the application of toxin (6 x 10(-10) M), the stimulated release of [3H]glycine was blocked completely, whereas stimulated release of [3H]glutamate was not blocked completely until 150-210 min after toxin application. Fragment C, the binding portion of the tetanus toxin molecule, had no effect on stimulated release of either transmitter. The spontaneous synaptic release of [3H]glycine was blocked totally within 90 min of toxin exposure. In contrast, the spontaneous release of [3H]glutamate, in toxin-exposed cultures, was elevated to nearly twice that of control cultures at this time. Thus, toxin-induced convulsant activity is characterized by a reduction in the spontaneous synaptic release of inhibitory neurotransmitter with a concomitant increase in the release of excitatory neurotransmitter, as well as the more rapid onset of blockade of depolarization-evoked release of inhibitory versus excitatory neurotransmitter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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