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(1/21346) Further evidence that prostaglandins inhibit the release of noradrenaline from adrenergic nerve terminals by restriction of availability of calcium.

1 Guinea-pig vasa deferentia were continuously superfused after labelling the transmitter stores with [3H](-)-noradrenaline. Release of [3H]-(-)-noradrenaline was induced by transmural nerve stimulation. 2 Prostglandin E2 (14 nM) drastically reduced the release of [3H]-(-)-noradrenaline, while tetraethylammonium (2 mM), rubidium (6 mM), phenoxybenzamine (3 muM) each in the presence or absence of Uptake 1 or 2 blockade, and prolonged pulse duration (from 0.5 to 2.0 ms) all significantly increased the release of [3H]-(-)-noradrenaline per nerve impulse. 3 The inhibitory effect of prostaglandin E2 on evoked release of [3H]-(-)-noradrenaline was significantly reduced by tetraethylammonium, rubidium and prolonged pulse duration, whilst it was actually enhanced by phenoxybenzamine. This indicates that increased release of noradrenaline per nerve impulse does not per se counteract the inhibitory effect of prostaglandin E2. 4 It is concluded that tetraethylammonium, rubidium and prolonged pulse duration counteracted the inhibitory effect of prostaglandin E2 on T3H]-(-)-noradrenaline release by promoting calcium influx during the nerve action potential. The results are consistent with, and add more weight to the view that prostaglandins inhibit the release of noradrenaline by restriction of calcium availability.  (+info)

(2/21346) 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)

(3/21346) Low resting potential and postnatal upregulation of NMDA receptors may cause Cajal-Retzius cell death.

Using in situ patch-clamp techniques in rat telencephalic slices, we have followed resting potential (RP) properties and the functional expression of NMDA receptors in neocortical Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells from embryonic day 18 to postnatal day 13, the time around which these cells normally disappear. We find that throughout their lives CR cells have a relatively depolarized RP (approximately -50 mV), which can be made more hyperpolarized (approximately -70 mV) by stimulation of the Na/K pump with intracellular ATP. The NMDA receptors of CR cells are subjected to intense postnatal upregulation, but their similar properties (EC50, Hill number, sensitivity to antagonists, conductance, and kinetics) throughout development suggest that their subunit composition remains relatively homogeneous. The low RP of CR cells is within a range that allows for the relief of NMDA channels from Mg2+ blockade. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that CR cells may degenerate and die subsequent to uncontrolled overload of intracellular Ca2+ via NMDA receptor activation by ambient glutamate. In support of this hypothesis we have obtained evidence showing the protection of CR cells via in vivo blockade of NMDA receptors with dizocilpine.  (+info)

(4/21346) Activity-dependent metaplasticity of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the lamprey spinal cord locomotor network.

Paired intracellular recordings have been used to examine the activity-dependent plasticity and neuromodulator-induced metaplasticity of synaptic inputs from identified inhibitory and excitatory interneurons in the lamprey spinal cord. Trains of spikes at 5-20 Hz were used to mimic the frequency of spiking that occurs in network interneurons during NMDA or brainstem-evoked locomotor activity. Inputs from inhibitory and excitatory interneurons exhibited similar activity-dependent changes, with synaptic depression developing during the spike train. The level of depression reached was greater with lower stimulation frequencies. Significant activity-dependent depression of inputs from excitatory interneurons and inhibitory crossed caudal interneurons, which are central elements in the patterning of network activity, usually developed between the fifth and tenth spikes in the train. Because these interneurons typically fire bursts of up to five spikes during locomotor activity, this activity-dependent plasticity will presumably not contribute to the patterning of network activity. However, in the presence of the neuromodulators substance P and 5-HT, significant activity-dependent metaplasticity of these inputs developed over the first five spikes in the train. Substance P induced significant activity-dependent depression of inhibitory but potentiation of excitatory interneuron inputs, whereas 5-HT induced significant activity-dependent potentiation of both inhibitory and excitatory interneuron inputs. Because these metaplastic effects are consistent with the substance P and 5-HT-induced modulation of the network output, activity-dependent metaplasticity could be a potential mechanism underlying the coordination and modulation of rhythmic network activity.  (+info)

(5/21346) Ionic currents underlying spontaneous action potentials in isolated cerebellar Purkinje neurons.

Acutely dissociated cell bodies of mouse Purkinje neurons spontaneously fired action potentials at approximately 50 Hz (25 degrees C). To directly measure the ionic currents underlying spontaneous activity, we voltage-clamped the cells using prerecorded spontaneous action potentials (spike trains) as voltage commands and used ionic substitution and selective blockers to isolate individual currents. The largest current flowing during the interspike interval was tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current (approximately -50 pA between -65 and -60 mV). Although the neurons had large voltage-dependent calcium currents, the net current blocked by cobalt substitution for calcium was outward at all times during spike trains. Thus, the electrical effect of calcium current is apparently dominated by rapidly activated calcium-dependent potassium currents. Under current clamp, all cells continued firing spontaneously (though approximately 30% more slowly) after block of T-type calcium current by mibefradil, and most cells continued to fire after block of all calcium current by cobalt substitution. Although the neurons possessed hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih), little current flowed during spike trains, and block by 1 mM cesium had no effect on firing frequency. The outward potassium currents underlying the repolarization of the spikes were completely blocked by 1 mM TEA. These currents deactivated quickly (<1 msec) after each spike. We conclude that the spontaneous firing of Purkinje neuron cell bodies depends mainly on tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current flowing between spikes. The high firing rate is promoted by large potassium currents that repolarize the cell rapidly and deactivate quickly, thus preventing strong hyperpolarization and restoring a high input resistance for subsequent depolarization.  (+info)

(6/21346) Somatic recording of GABAergic autoreceptor current in cerebellar stellate and basket cells.

Patch-clamp recordings were performed from stellate and basket cells in rat cerebellar slices. Under somatic voltage clamp, short depolarizing pulses were applied to elicit action potentials in the axon. After the action potential, a bicuculline- and Cd2+-sensitive current transient was observed. A similar response was obtained when eliciting axonal firing by extracellular stimulation. With an isotonic internal Cl- solution, the peak amplitude of this current varied linearly with the holding potential, yielding an extrapolated reversal potential of -20 to 0 mV. Unlike synaptic or autaptic GABAergic currents obtained in the same preparation, the current transient had a slow rise-time and a low variability between trials. This current was blocked when 10 mM BAPTA was included in the recording solution. In some experiments, the current transient elicited axonal action potentials. The current transient was reliably observed in animals aged 12-15 d, with a mean amplitude of 82 pA at -70 mV, but was small and rare in the age group 29-49 d. Numerical simulations could account for all properties of the current transient by assuming that an action potential activates a distributed GABAergic conductance in the axon. The actual conductance is probably restricted to release sites, with an estimated mean presynaptic current response of 10 pA per site (-70 mV, age 12-15 d). We conclude that in developing rats, stellate and basket cell axons have a high density of GABAergic autoreceptors and that a sizable fraction of the corresponding current can be measured from the soma.  (+info)

(7/21346) Inducible genetic suppression of neuronal excitability.

Graded, reversible suppression of neuronal excitability represents a logical goal of therapy for epilepsy and intractable pain. To achieve such suppression, we have developed the means to transfer "electrical silencing" genes into neurons with sensitive control of transgene expression. An ecdysone-inducible promoter drives the expression of inwardly rectifying potassium channels in polycistronic adenoviral vectors. Infection of superior cervical ganglion neurons did not affect normal electrical activity but suppressed excitability after the induction of gene expression. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of controlled ion channel expression after somatic gene transfer into neurons and serve as the prototype for a novel generalizable approach to modulate excitability.  (+info)

(8/21346) Cerebellar Purkinje cell simple spike discharge encodes movement velocity in primates during visuomotor arm tracking.

Pathophysiological, lesion, and electrophysiological studies suggest that the cerebellar cortex is important for controlling the direction and speed of movement. The relationship of cerebellar Purkinje cell discharge to the control of arm movement parameters, however, remains unclear. The goal of this study was to examine how movement direction and speed and their interaction-velocity-modulate Purkinje cell simple spike discharge in an arm movement task in which direction and speed were independently controlled. The simple spike discharge of 154 Purkinje cells was recorded in two monkeys during the performance of two visuomotor tasks that required the animals to track targets that moved in one of eight directions and at one of four speeds. Single-parameter regression analyses revealed that a large proportion of cells had discharge modulation related to movement direction and speed. Most cells with significant directional tuning, however, were modulated at one speed, and most cells with speed-related discharge were modulated along one direction; this suggested that the patterns of simple spike discharge were not adequately described by single-parameter models. Therefore, a regression surface was fitted to the data, which showed that the discharge could be tuned to specific direction-speed combinations (preferred velocities). The overall variability in simple spike discharge was well described by the surface model, and the velocities corresponding to maximal and minimal discharge rates were distributed uniformly throughout the workspace. Simple spike discharge therefore appears to integrate information about both the direction and speed of arm movements, thereby encoding movement velocity.  (+info)