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Brain Res. 1998 Oct 5;807(1-2):61-9.

Inhibition of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC) by noradrenaline in rat supraoptic neurons through presynaptic alpha2-adrenoceptors.

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Department of Physiology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health School of Medicine, Kitakyusyu, 807-8555, Japan.


It has been shown that noradrenergic activation has great influence on the activities of hypothalamic supraoptic neurons. No direct evidence has been reported on the presynaptic effects of adrenoceptors in the actions of noradrenaline on supraoptic neurons, although postsynaptic mechanisms have been studied extensively. In the present study, we explored presynaptic effects of noradrenaline on the supraoptic neurons by measuring spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC) with the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Noradrenaline reduced the frequency of IPSCs in a dose-dependent (10(-9) to 10(-3) M) and reversible manner. Noradrenaline did not affect the amplitude of IPSCs at concentrations of 10(-9) to 10(-5) M, but reduced the amplitude of IPSCs at high concentrations (10(-4) and 10(-3) M). The inhibitory effects of noradrenaline were mimicked by the alpha2-agonist clonidine (10(-4) M), but not by the alpha1-agonist methoxamine (10(-4) M) nor by the beta-agonist isoproterenol (10(-4) M). Moreover, the inhibitory effects of noradrenaline on IPSCs were blocked by the non-selective alpha antagonist phentolamine (10(-4) M) or the selective alpha2-antagonist yohimbine (10(-4) M), but not by the alpha1-antagonist prazosin (10(-4) M). These results suggest that noradrena-line inhibits release of GABA from the presynaptic GABAergic terminals of the supraoptic neurons by activating presynaptic alpha2-adrenoceptors and such presynaptic mechanisms may play a role in the excitatory control of SON neurons by noradrenergic neurons.

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