(1/5660) Effect of electrotonic potentials on pacemaker activity of canine Purkinje fibers in relation to parasystole.

Isolated false tendons excised form dog hearts were mounted in a three-chamber tissue bath. Isotonic sucrose solution was perfused in the central chamber to provide a region of depressed conductivity between the fiber segments in chambers 1 and 3, which were perfused with Tyrode's solution. The electrotonic influence of spontaneous or driven responses evoked in chamber 3 during the first half of the spontaneous cycle of a chamber 1 peacemaker delayed the next spontaneous discharge. This effect changed to acceleration when the chamber 3 segment fired during the second half of the spontaneous cycle. We found that subthreshold depolarizing current pulses 50-300 msec applied across the sucrose gap caused similar degrees of delay or acceleration. Furthermore, hyperpolarizing currents caused the reverse pattern. The results indicate that the discharge pattern of a parasystolic focus may be altered by the electrotonic influence of activity in the surrounding tissue. The significance of these findings is considered in relation to the mechanism of production of parasystolic rhythms.  (+info)

(2/5660) The optically determined size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool correlates with the quantal content at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larvae.

According to the current theory of synaptic transmission, the amplitude of evoked synaptic potentials correlates with the number of synaptic vesicles released at the presynaptic terminals. Synaptic vesicles in presynaptic boutons constitute two distinct pools, namely, exo/endo cycling and reserve pools (). We defined the vesicles that were endocytosed and exocytosed during high K+ stimulation as the exo/endo cycling vesicle pool. To determine the role of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool in synaptic transmission, we estimated the quantal content electrophysiologically, whereas the pool size was determined optically using fluorescent dye FM1-43. We then manipulated the size of the pool with following treatments. First, to change the state of boutons of nerve terminals, motoneuronal axons were severed. With this treatment, the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool decreased together with the quantal content. Second, we promoted the FM1-43 uptake using cyclosporin A, which inhibits calcineurin activities and enhances endocytosis. Cyclosporin A increased the total uptake of FM1-43, but neither the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool nor the quantal content changed. Third, we increased the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool by forskolin, which enhances synaptic transmission. The forskolin treatment increased both the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool and the quantal content. Thus, we found that the quantal content was closely correlated with the size of exo/endo cycling vesicle pool but not necessarily with the total uptake of FM1-43 fluorescence by boutons. The results suggest that vesicles in the exo/endo cycling pool primarily participate in evoked exocytosis of vesicles.  (+info)

(3/5660) Spinal cord-evoked potentials and muscle responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation in 10 awake human subjects.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TCMS) causes leg muscle contractions, but the neural structures in the brain that are activated by TCMS and their relationship to these leg muscle responses are not clearly understood. To elucidate this, we concomitantly recorded leg muscle responses and thoracic spinal cord-evoked potentials (SCEPs) after TCMS for the first time in 10 awake, neurologically intact human subjects. In this report we provide evidence of direct and indirect activation of corticospinal neurons after TCMS. In three subjects, SCEP threshold (T) stimulus intensities recruited both the D wave (direct activation of corticospinal neurons) and the first I wave (I1, indirect activation of corticospinal neurons). In one subject, the D, I1, and I2 waves were recruited simultaneously, and in another subject, the I1 and I2 waves were recruited simultaneously. In the remaining five subjects, only the I1 wave was recruited first. More waves were recruited as the stimulus intensity increased. The presence of D and I waves in all subjects at low stimulus intensities verified that TCMS directly and indirectly activated corticospinal neurons supplying the lower extremities. Leg muscle responses were usually contingent on the SCEP containing at least four waves (D, I1, I2, and I3).  (+info)

(4/5660) Multiple point electrical stimulation of ulnar and median nerves.

A computer-assisted method of isolating single motor units (MUs) by multiple point stimulation (MPS) of peripheral nerves is described. MPS was used to isolate 10-30 single MUs from thenar and hypothenar muscles of normal subjects and patients with entrapment neuropathies, with the original purpose of obtaining a more representative mean motor unit potential for estimating the number of MUs in a muscle. The two important results that evolved from MPS however, were: (1) in the absence of 'alternation' MUs were recruited in an orderly pattern from small to large, and from longer to shorter latencies by graded electrical stimulation in both normal and pathological cases, (2) a comparison of the sizes of MUs recruited by stimulation proximal and distal to the elbow suggested that axonal branching can occur in the forearm 200 mm or more proximal to the motor point in intrinsic hand muscles.  (+info)

(5/5660) N-type voltage-dependent calcium channels mediate the nicotinic enhancement of GABA release in chick brain.

The role of voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated enhancement of spontaneous GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) was investigated in chick brain slices. Whole cell recordings of neurons in the lateral spiriform (SpL) and ventral lateral geniculate (LGNv) nuclei showed that cadmium chloride (CdCl2) blocked the carbachol-induced increase of spontaneous GABAergic IPSCs, indicating that VDCCs might be involved. To conclusively show a role for VDCCs, the presynaptic effect of carbachol on SpL and LGNv neurons was examined in the presence of selective blockers of VDCC subtypes. omega-Conotoxin GVIA, a selective antagonist of N-type channels, significantly reduced the nAChR-mediated enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release in the SpL by 78% compared with control responses. Nifedipine, an L-type channel blocker, and omega-Agatoxin-TK, a P/Q-type channel blocker, did not inhibit the enhancement of GABAergic IPSCs. In the LGNv, omega-Conotoxin GVIA also significantly reduced the nAChR-mediated enhancement of GABA release by 71% from control values. Although omega-Agatoxin-TK did not block the nicotinic enhancement, L-type channel blockers showed complex effects on the nAChR-mediated enhancement. These results indicate that the nAChR-mediated enhancement of spontaneous GABAergic IPSCs requires activation of N-type channels in both the SpL and LGNv.  (+info)

(6/5660) Impairment of neocortical long-term potentiation in mice deficient of endothelial nitric oxide synthase.

The role of the possible retrograde messenger nitric oxide (NO) in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) was studied in supragranular layers of somatosensory cortical slices obtained from adult mice. High-frequency stimulation produced a slowly rising, long-lasting (50 min) and significant (P < 0.001) increase in the extracellular synaptic response by 23%. The induction of LTP was independent from activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, but prevented by bath application of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), indicating that one or several of the different NO synthases (NOS) produced NO within the postsynaptic neuron. No LTP could be induced in knockout mice lacking the endothelial NOS (eNOS) isoform. These data suggest that eNOS is involved in an NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP in the rodent cerebral cortex.  (+info)

(7/5660) C-PR neuron of Aplysia has differential effects on "Feeding" cerebral interneurons, including myomodulin-positive CBI-12.

Head lifting and other aspects of the appetitive central motive state that precedes consummatory feeding movements in Aplysia is promoted by excitation of the C-PR neuron. Food stimuli activate C-PR as well as a small population of cerebral-buccal interneurons (CBIs). We wished to determine if firing of C-PR produced differential effects on the various CBIs or perhaps affected all the CBIs uniformly as might be expected for a neuron involved in producing a broad undifferentiated arousal state. We found that when C-PR was fired, it produced a wide variety of effects on various CBIs. Firing of C-PR evoked excitatory input to a newly identified CBI (CBI-12) the soma of which is located in the M cluster near the previously identified CBI-2. CBI-12 shares certain properties with CBI-2, including a similar morphology and a capacity to drive rhythmic activity of the buccal-ganglion. Unlike CBI-2, CBI-12 exhibits myomodulin immunoreactivity. Furthermore when C-PR is fired, CBI-12 receives a polysynaptic voltage-dependent slow excitation, whereas, CBI-2 receives relatively little input. C-PR also polysynaptically excites other CBIs including CBI-1 and CBI-8/9 but produces inhibition in CBI-3. In addition, firing of C-PR inhibits plateau potentials in CBI-5/6. The data suggest that activity of C-PR may promote the activity of one subset of cerebral-buccal interneurons, perhaps those involved in ingestive behaviors that occur during the head-up posture. C-PR also inhibits some cerebral-buccal interneurons that may be involved in behaviors in which C-PR activity is not required or may even interfere with other feeding behaviors such as rejection or grazing, that occur with the head down.  (+info)

(8/5660) NMDA-dependent currents in granule cells of the dentate gyrus contribute to induction but not permanence of kindling.

Single-electrode voltage-clamp techniques and bath application of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) were used to study the time course of seizure-induced alterations in NMDA-dependent synaptic currents in granule cells of the dentate gyrus in hippocampal slices from kindled and normal rats. In agreement with previous studies, granule cells from kindled rats examined within 1 wk after the last of 3 or 30-35 generalized tonic-clonic (class V) seizures demonstrated an increase in the NMDA receptor-dependent component of the perforant path-evoked synaptic current. Within 1 wk of the last kindled seizure, NMDA-dependent charge transfer underlying the perforant path-evoked current was increased by 63-111% at a holding potential of -30 mV. In contrast, the NMDA-dependent component of the perforant-evoked current in granule cells examined at 2.5-3 mo after the last of 3 or 90-120 class V seizures did not differ from age-matched controls. Because the seizure-induced increases in NMDA-dependent synaptic currents declined toward control values during a time course of 2.5-3 mo, increases in NMDA-dependent synaptic transmission cannot account for the permanent susceptibility to evoked and spontaneous seizures induced by kindling. The increase in NMDA receptor-dependent transmission was associated with the induction of kindling but was not responsible for the maintenance of the kindled state. The time course of alterations in NMDA-dependent synaptic current and the dependence of the progression of kindling and kindling-induced mossy fiber sprouting on repeated NMDA receptor activation are consistent with the possibility that the NMDA receptor is part of a transmembrane signaling pathway that induces long-term cellular alterations and circuit remodeling in response to repeated seizures, but is not required for permanent seizure susceptibility in circuitry altered by kindling.  (+info)