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Brain Res. 1982 Oct 14;249(2):333-44.

Ionic mechanisms of cholinergic excitation in mammalian hippocampal pyramidal cells.


Intracellular recordings from CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons were obtained using the in vitro hippocampal slice preparation. Responses to ACh were monitored in the presence of blockers of voltage-dependent conductances including Mn2+, TTX and Ba2+. When Mn2+ was used to block voltage-dependent Ca conductance and possible indirect presynaptic cholinergic actions, ACh still induced a significant voltage-sensitive increase in apparent input resistance (Ra) (29%), but only an insignificant depolarization of membrane potential (Vm). When both voltage-dependent Ca and Na conductances were blocked by application of Mn2+ and TTX, respectively, ACh produced voltage-dependent increases in Ra (31%) without significant depolarization. In solutions containing TTX alone, ACh produced voltage-sensitive increases in Ra (32%) as well as a significant depolarization (6.2 +/- 3.1 mV (S.D.)). ACh transiently blocked the conductance increase which followed presumed Ca spikes, suggesting an action on the Ca-activated K-dependent conductance. The effects of Ba2+ application (100-200 microM) on Ra mimicked those of ACh. When ACh was applied to neurons in the presence of Ba2+, Ra remained unchanged, although Vm depolarization of 5-15 mV was still seen. The data indicate that ACh decreases both a voltage-dependent K conductance (distinct from that of the delayed rectifier) and a Ca-activated K conductance. Muscarinic cholinergic depolarization occurs as a result of blockade of K conductance, and is mediated by voltage-dependent Ca and Na conductances, and perhaps by presynaptic actions.

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