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Hear Res. 1997 Oct;112(1-2):21-32.

A role for chloride in the suppressive effect of acetylcholine on afferent vestibular activity.

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Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.


Afferents of the frog semicircular canal (SCC) respond to acetylcholine (ACh) application (0.3-1.0 mM) with a facilitation of their activity while frog saccular afferents respond with suppression (Guth et al., 1994). All recordings are of resting (i.e., non-stimulated) multiunit activity as previously reported (Guth et al., 1994). Substitution of 80% of external chloride (Cl-) by large, poorly permeant anions of different structures (isethionate, methanesulfonate, methylsulfate, and gluconate) reduced the suppressive effect of ACh in the frog saccular afferents. This substitution did not affect the facilitatory response of SCC afferents to ACh. Chloride channel blockers were also used to test further whether Cl- is involved in the ACh suppressive effect. These included: niflumic and flufenamic acids, picrotoxin, 5-nitro-2-(-3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid (NPPB), and 4,4'-dinitrostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DNDS). As with the Cl- substitutions, all of these agents reduced the suppressive response to ACh in the saccule, but not the facilitatory response seen in the SCC. The suppressive effect of ACh on saccular afferents is considered to be due to activation of a nicotinic-like receptor (Guth et al., 1994; Guth and Norris, 1996). Taking into account the effects of both Cl- substitutions and Cl- channel blockers, we conclude that changes in Cl- availability influence the suppressive effect of ACh and that therefore Cl- may be involved in this effect.

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