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Neuroscience. 2015 Aug 6;300:360-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.05.038. Epub 2015 May 23.

Noradrenergic modulation of glutamate-induced excitatory responses in single neurons of the red nucleus: an electrophysiological study.

Author information

1
University of Catania, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Section of Physiology, Via Santa Sofia, 64, 95125 Catania, Italy.
2
University of Catania, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Section of Physiology, Via Santa Sofia, 64, 95125 Catania, Italy. Electronic address: glivolsi@unict.it.

Abstract

The effect induced by noradrenaline (NA) on the spiking activity evoked by glutamate (Glu) on single neurons of the mesencephalic red nucleus (RN) of the rat was studied extracellularly. Long-lasting microiontophoretic applications of the amine induced a significant and reversible depression of the responsiveness of RN neurons to Glu. This effect was mediated by noradrenergic alpha2 receptors since it was mimicked by application of clonidine, an alpha2 adrenoceptor agonist, and blocked or at least reduced by application of yohimbine, an antagonist of NA for the same receptors. The effect appears homogeneously throughout the nucleus and is independent of the effect of NA on baseline firing rate. Application of isoproterenol, a beta adrenoceptor agonist, either enhanced or depressed neuronal responses to Glu in a high percentage (86%) of the tested neurons. Moreover, application of timolol, a beta adrenoceptor antagonist, was able to strengthen the depressive effects induced by NA application on neuronal responsiveness to Glu. Although these data suggest some involvement of beta adrenergic receptors in the modulation of neuronal responsiveness to Glu, the overall results indicate a short-term depressive action of NA, mediated by alpha2 receptors, on the responsiveness of RN neurons and suggest that stress initially leads to an attenuation of the relay function of the RN.

KEYWORDS:

electrophysiology; glutamate; microiontophoresis; noradrenaline; red nucleus

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