Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Biol Sci. 1991 Jun 22;244(1311):179-84.

Excitatory amino acid receptor-channels in Purkinje cells in thin cerebellar slices.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, University College London, U.K.


Glutamate receptors of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA type serve different functions during excitatory synaptic transmission. Although many central neurons bear both types of receptor, the evidence concerning the sensitivity of cerebellar Purkinje cells to NMDA is contradictory. To investigate the receptor types present in Purkinje cells, we have used whole-cell and outside-out patch-clamp methods to record from cells in thin cerebellar slices from young rats. At a holding potential of -70 mV (in nominally Mg(2+)-free medium, with added glycine) NMDA caused a whole-cell current response which consisted of a dramatic increase in the frequency of synaptic currents. In the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and the gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptor antagonist bicuculline, spontaneous synaptic currents and responses to NMDA were inhibited. In a proportion of cells a small polysynaptic response to NMDA persisted, which was further reduced by the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 6-cyano-2,3-dihydro-7-nitroquinoxalinedione (CNQX). The non-NMDA glutamate receptor agonists kainate (KA), quisqualate (QA) and s-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoazolepropionic acid (s-AMPA), evoked large inward currents due to the direct activation of receptors in Purkinje cells. NMDA applied to excised membrane patches failed to evoke any single-channel currents, whereas s-AMPA and QA caused small inward currents accompanied by marked increases in current noise. Spectral analysis of the s-AMPA noise in patches gave an estimated mean channel conductance of approximately 4 pS.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center