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Brain Res Bull. 1994;35(5-6):513-9.

Modulation of locus coeruleus neurons by extra- and intracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Freiburg, Germany.


The cell membrane of rat locus coeruleus (LC) neurons is sensitive to both extra- and intracellular ATP. Extracellular ATP or its enzymatically stable analogues activate membrane receptors of the P2 type. These receptors inhibit a persistent potassium current and simultaneously activate a nonselective cationic conductance. The resulting depolarization increases the spontaneous firing rate. A decrease in the concentration of intracellular ATP during hypoxia or hypoglycemia opens ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels of LC neurons. The resulting hyperpolarization depresses the discharge of action potentials and conserved energy. The hypoxia-induced hyperpolarization is additionally due to the release of adenosine from neighboring neurons or glial cells. A certain class of compounds, termed potassium channel openers, also decrease the firing, while sulphonylurea antidiabetics known to block KATP channels increase it. Sulphonylurea antidiabetics antagonize the excitability decrease induced both by potassium channel openers and metabolic damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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