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Eur J Pharmacol. 1994 Sep 22;263(1-2):107-14.

The effect of acetylcholine and related drugs on currents at the frog motor nerve terminal.

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Kazan Medical University, Kazan, Tatarstan, Russian Federation.


Acetylcholine, acetylthiocholine, carbachol, suberyldicholine, propionylcholine, succinylcholine, methylfurmethide and F 2268 were tested on motor nerve ending currents recorded with an extracellular microelectrode. The isolated and transversally cut cutaneous pectoris muscle of frog Rana ridibunda was used. Only acetylcholine and acetylthiocholine affected the spike waveforms in a concentration-dependent manner. Lower concentrations (1-6 x 10(-4) M) prolonged the inward Na+ current and increased the outward K+ current at the proximal and central parts of the nerve terminal. Most remote parts of the terminal were not affected. At 7 x 10(-4) M and higher, both drugs further prolonged the Na+ current and eliminated the K+ component of the spike. The potentiating effect of acetylcholine and acetylthiocholine on the K+ phase of nerve terminal current disappeared after treatment with tetraethylammonium and 4-aminopyridine. The effect also disappeared when synaptic cholinesterase was inhibited by the anticholinesterases or by treatment with collagenase. Reactivation of cholinesterase by dipyroxime restored the facilitating effect of acetylcholine. Choline and slight acidification to pH 6.8 did not mimic the acetylcholine action on the terminal currents. Facilitation of the K+ current by acetylcholine was not calcium-dependent. The results indicate that lower acetylcholine concentrations inhibit the delayed rectifier only, whereas 7 x 10(-4) M and higher concentrations of acetylcholine depress all outward currents of the terminal.

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