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J Neurophysiol. 1989 Jul;62(1):239-46.

Phosphatidylinositol system's role in serotonin-induced facilitation at the crayfish neuromuscular junction.

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Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


1. In a crustacean neuromuscular preparation, the walking leg opener muscle of the freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii, application of serotonin (1 microM) produces presynaptic depolarization and long-lasting facilitation of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs). The frequency of spontaneously released transmitter quanta also increases. Facilitation of evoked EPSPs declines after serotonin application in two phases. 2. Serotonin-induced facilitation was examined using simultaneous pre- and postsynaptic intracellular microelectrode recording. A presynaptic microelectrode recorded action potentials and membrane potential of a presynaptic axonal branch, and one or more postsynaptic microelectrodes recorded EPSPs in muscle fibers innervated by the excitatory motor axon. Components of the phosphatidylinositol second messenger system and pharmacologic agents affecting this system were injected through the presynaptic electrode, and changes in synaptic transmission were measured. 3. Presynaptic injection of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) causes presynaptic depolarization, increases the frequency of spontaneously released transmitter quanta, and promotes a relatively short-lasting facilitation of evoked EPSPs. These actions are consistent with elevation of intracellular Ca2+ and resemble the early phase of serotonin-induced facilitation. 4. Application of a phorbol ester, 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), that activates protein kinase C (C-kinase), produces a long-lasting, low-level facilitation of evoked EPSPs. Application of another phorbol ester, phorbol-12-monoacetate (PTMA), which does not activate C-kinase has no effect. 5. Presynaptic injection of RA 233, a phospholipase C (PLP-C) inhibitor, blocks all aspects of serotonin-induced facilitation. This compound was found to have no general deleterious effects on synaptic transmission and does not block other forms of synaptic facilitation in this preparation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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