Metrifonate increases neuronal excitability in CA1 pyramidal neurons from both young and aging rabbit hippocampus.
The effects of metrifonate, a second generation cholinesterase inhibitor, were examined on CA1 pyramidal neurons from hippocampal slices of young and aging rabbits using current-clamp, intracellular recording techniques. Bath perfusion of metrifonate (10-200 microM) dose-dependently decreased both postburst afterhyperpolarization (AHP) and spike frequency adaptation (accommodation) in neurons from young and aging rabbits (AHP: p < 0.002, young; p < 0.050, aging; accommodation: p < 0.024, young; p < 0.001, aging). These reductions were mediated by muscarinic cholinergic transmission, because they were blocked by addition of atropine (1 microM) to the perfusate. The effects of chronic metrifonate treatment (12 mg/kg for 3 weeks) on CA1 neurons of aging rabbits were also examined ex vivo. Neurons from aging rabbits chronically treated with metrifonate had significantly reduced spike frequency accommodation, compared with vehicle-treated rabbits. Chronic metrifonate treatment did not result in a desensitization to metrifonate ex vivo, because bath perfusion of metrifonate (50 microM) significantly decreased the AHP and accommodation in neurons from both chronically metrifonate- and vehicle-treated aging rabbits. We propose that the facilitating effect of chronic metrifonate treatment on acquisition of hippocampus-dependent tasks such as trace eyeblink conditioning by aging subjects may be caused by this increased excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons. (+info
Pituitary-adrenal cortical responses to low-dose physostigmine and arginine vasopressin administration in normal women and men.
Animal studies indicate that central cholinergic neurotransmission stimulates CRH secretion, but several human studies suggest that the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal cortical (HPA) axis may be activated only by doses of cholinergic agonists that produce noxious side effects and, by inference, a nonspecific stress response. Physostigmine (PHYSO), a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor, was administered to normal women and men at a dose that elevated plasma ACTH1-39, cortisol, and arginine vasopressin (AVP) concentrations but produced few or no side effects. Exogenous AVP also was administered alone and following PHYSO, to determine if it would augment the effect of PHYSO on the HPA axis. Fourteen normal women and 14 normal men matched to the women on age and race underwent four test sessions 5 to 7 days apart: PHYSO (8 micrograms/kg i.v.), AVP (0.08 U/kg i.m.), PHYSO plus AVP, and saline control. Serial blood samples taken before and after pharmacologic challenge were analyzed for ACTH1-39, cortisol, and AVP. PHYSO and AVP administration produced no side effects in about half the subjects and mild side effects in the other half, with no significant female-male differences overall. There also were no significant female-male differences in ACTH1-39 or cortisol responses to AVP. In contrast, the men had significantly greater ACTH1-39 responses to PHYSO administration than did the women. The endogenous AVP response to PHYSO also was significantly greater in the men than in the women, and the ACTH1-39 and AVP responses to PHYSO were significantly correlated in the men (both = +0.70) but not in the women. None of the hormone responses was significantly correlated with the presence or absence of side effects in either group of subjects. These results indicate a greater sensitivity of the HPA axis to low-dose PHYSO in normal men than in normal women, which likely is mediated by increased secretion of AVP. The lack of difference in side effects between the two groups of subjects and the lack of significant correlations between presence or absence of side effects and hormone responses in either group suggest that the increased hormone responses in the men were due to increased responsivity of central cholinergic systems and not to a nonspecific stress response. (+info
Cholinergic modulation of neostriatal output: a functional antagonism between different types of muscarinic receptors.
It is demonstrated that acetylcholine released from cholinergic interneurons modulates the excitability of neostriatal projection neurons. Physostigmine and neostigmine increase input resistance (RN) and enhance evoked discharge of spiny projection neurons in a manner similar to muscarine. Muscarinic RN increase occurs in the whole subthreshold voltage range (-100 to -45 mV), remains in the presence of TTX and Cd2+, and can be blocked by the relatively selective M1,4 muscarinic receptor antagonist pirenzepine but not by M2 or M3 selective antagonists. Cs+ occludes muscarinic effects at potentials more negative than -80 mV. A Na+ reduction in the bath occludes muscarinic effects at potentials more positive than -70 mV. Thus, muscarinic effects involve different ionic conductances: inward rectifying and cationic. The relatively selective M2 receptor antagonist AF-DX 116 does not block muscarinic effects on the projection neuron but, surprisingly, has the ability to mimic agonistic actions increasing RN and firing. Both effects are blocked by pirenzepine. HPLC measurements of acetylcholine demonstrate that AF-DX 116 but not pirenzepine greatly increases endogenous acetylcholine release in brain slices. Therefore, the effects of the M2 antagonist on the projection neurons were attributable to autoreceptor block on cholinergic interneurons. These experiments show distinct opposite functions of muscarinic M1- and M2-type receptors in neostriatal output, i.e., the firing of projection neurons. The results suggest that the use of more selective antimuscarinics may be more profitable for the treatment of motor deficits. (+info
Block of quantal end-plate currents of mouse muscle by physostigmine and procaine.
of quantal end-plate currents of mouse muscle by physostigmine and procaine. Quantal endplate currents (qEPCs) were recorded from hemidiaphragms of mice by means of a macro-patch-clamp electrode. Excitation was blocked with tetrodotoxin, and quantal release was elicited by depolarizing pulses through the electrode. Physostigmine (Phys) or procaine (Proc) was applied to the recording site by perfusion of the electrode tip. Low concentrations of Phys increased the amplitude and prolonged the decay time constants of qEPCs from approximately 3 to approximately 10 ms, due to block of acetylcholine-esterase. With 20 microM to 2 mM Phys or Proc, the decay of qEPCs became biphasic, an initial short time constant taus decreasing to <1 ms with 1 mM Phys and to approximately 0.3 ms with 1 mM Proc. The long second time constant of the decay, taul, reached values of +info)
Physostigmine blocked nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat sympathetic ganglion neurons.
AIM: To study the blocking mechanism of physostigmine (Phy) on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (NAChR) in sympathetic neurons. METHODS: The whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to observe the effects of Phy on NAChR in the cultured sympathetic neurons from neonatal rat superior cervical ganglia (SCG). RESULTS: Phy 5 -20 mumol.L-1 inhibited neuronal NAChR in a concentration-dependent manner and accelerated the desensitization of NAChR. Changing the membrane potential from -50 to -90 mV did not affect the blocking effect of Phy. Phy 200 mumol.L-1 did not induce any noticeable response in SCG neurons. CONCLUSION: Phy blocked NAChR in the sympathetic ganglion neurons by interacting with the allosteric sites out of the binding sites and the open ionic channels of the receptors. Phy did not possess excitative effect on NAChR in SCG neurons. (+info
Maturation of neuromuscular transmission during early development in zebrafish.
We have examined the rapid development of synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in zebrafish embryos and larvae by patch-clamp recording of spontaneous miniature endplate currents (mEPCs) and single acetylcholine receptor (AChR) channels. Embryonic (24-36 h) mEPCs recorded in vivo were small in amplitude (<50 pA). The rate of mEPCs increased in larvae (3.5-fold increase measured by 6 days), and these mEPCs were mostly of larger amplitude (10-fold on average) with (+info)
Changes in electrocortical power and coherence in response to the selective cholinergic immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin.
Changes in brain electrical activity in response to cholinergic agonists, antagonists, or excitotoxic lesions of the basal forebrain may not be reflective entirely of changes in cholinergic tone, in so far as these interventions also involve noncholinergic neurons. We examined electrocortical activity in rats following bilateral intracerebroventricular administration of 192 IgG-saporin (1.8 microg/ventricle), a selective cholinergic immunotoxin directed to the low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor p75. The immunotoxin resulted in extensive loss of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) activity in neocortex (80%-84%) and hippocampus (93%), with relative sparing of entorhinal-piriform cortex (42%) and amygdala (28%). Electrocortical activity demonstrated modest increases in 1- to 4-Hz power, decreases in 20- to 44-Hz power, and decreases in 4- to 8-Hz intra- and interhemispheric coherence. Rhythmic slow activity (RSA) occurred robustly in toxin-treated animals during voluntary movement and in response to physostigmine, with no significant differences seen in power and peak frequency in comparison with controls. Physostigmine significantly increased intrahemispheric coherence in lesioned and intact animals, with minor increases seen in interhemispheric coherence. Our study suggests that: (1) electrocortical changes in response to selective cholinergic deafferentation are more modest than those previously reported following excitotoxic lesions; (2) changes in cholinergic tone affect primarily brain electrical transmission within, in contrast to between hemispheres; and (3) a substantial cholinergic reserve remains following administration of 192 IgG-saporin, despite dramatic losses of ChAT in cortex and hippocampus. Persistence of a cholinergically modulated RSA suggests that such activity may be mediated through cholinergic neurons which, because they lack the p75 receptor, remain unaffected by the immunotoxin. (+info
Effects of huperzine A on nucleus basalis magnocellularis lesion-induced spatial working memory deficit.
AIM: To study the effects of huperzine A on nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) lesion-induced spatial working memory impairment. METHODS: A delayed-non-match-to-sample radial arm maze task was used to study spatial working memory. The choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity was determined by the conversion of [3H]acetyl-CoA to [3H]ACh. RESULTS: Unilateral NBM lesion by kainic acid 0.02 mumol impaired rat's ability to perform this working memory task as evidenced by fewer correct choices after different delay intervals and more total errors to complete the task. This behavioral impairment associated with a decrease in the activity of ChAT by about 40% in the ipsilateral cerebral cortex. Huperzine A (0.2 mg.kg-1 i.p. 30 min before testing) ameliorated this spatial working memory impairment. Physostigmine (0.2-0.3 mg.kg-1 i.p. 20 min before testing) also attenuated the NBM lesion-induced memory deficit. CONCLUSION: The integrity of NBM is critical for spatial working memory processing, and this working memory impairment induced by NBM lesion can be ameliorated by huperzine A and physostigmine. (+info