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Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1989 May 22;236(1285):373-84.

Role of excitatory amino acid receptors in synaptic transmission in area CA1 of rat hippocampus.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, U.K.


The new antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX), which blocks responses to kainate and quisqualate, has been used in conjunction with D-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV), which blocks selectively responses to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), to determine the role of excitatory amino acid receptors in synaptic transmission. An excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP)-inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) sequence was evoked in CA1 neurons by stimulation of the Schaffer collateral-commissural pathway in rat hippocampal slices. CNQX (10 microM) substantially reduced the EPSP without having any effect on input resistance or membrane potential. The IPSP was also reduced provided that the stimulating electrode was place approximately 1 mm from the recording electrode. The EPSP that remained in the presence of CNQX had characteristics of an NMDA receptor-mediated potential; it had a slow timecourse, summated at high frequencies, was blocked reversibly by APV, increased greatly in size in Mg2+-free medium, and showed an anomalous voltage dependence in Mg2+-containing medium. In the presence of CNQX, an APV-sensitive polysynaptic GABAergic IPSP could be evoked, indicating that NMDA receptors can mediate suprathreshold EPSPS in inhibitory interneurons. It is suggested that either NMDA or non-NMDA receptors can, under different circumstances, mediate the synaptic excitation of pyramidal neurons and inhibitory interneurons in area CA1 of the hippocampus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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