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J Comp Physiol A. 1993 May;172(4):409-23.

The role of amino acid neurotransmitters in the descending control of electroreception.

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Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman 73019.


The roles of amino acid neurotransmitters in determining the processing characteristics of the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) in Apteronotus leptorhynchus were investigated by studying the responses of ELL output neurons to pressure ejection of various neurotransmitter agonists and antagonists alone and in combination with simple electrosensory stimuli. 1. Pressure ejection of L-glutamate into the ELL dorsal molecular layer caused either excitation or inhibition of ELL efferent neurons (pyramidal cells). The sign of these responses reversed with changes in the position of the pressure pipette. Histological verification of drug ejection sites relative to recorded cells and diffusion estimates indicate that excitatory and inhibitory responses result from glutamate activation of pyramidal cells and of inhibitory interneurons, respectively. 2. ELL output cells respond to both NMDA and non-NMDA glutamate agonists and the responses are attenuated by co-ejection of specific antagonists indicating that both AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptors exist on pyramidal cell apical dendrites. 3. Gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibits basilar and nonbasilar pyramidal cells when ejected near their apical dendrites and disinhibits them when ejected near surrounding inhibitory interneurons confirming the presence of GABA receptors on these cell types. 4. An NMDA antagonist did not alter pyramidal cell responses to electrosensory stimuli but a non-NMDA antagonist altered both responses to the stimuli and firing frequency shortly following stimulus cessation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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