Publications (2)6.18 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: The hippocampus receives an extensive cholinergic input from the medial septal nucleus that ramifies throughout all layers and plays a pivotal modulatory role in cognitive function. Although the pharmacological effects of exogenous application of cholinergic agonists have been extensively studied in hippocampal neurons, much less is known about the effects of synaptically released acetylcholine (ACh). In this respect, most studies have focused on the cholinergic afferent input to pyramidal neurons that produces a characteristically slow depolarizing synaptic response mediated by activation of muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChRs). Here we report that cholinergic afferent stimulation also elicits atropine-sensitive synaptic potentials in hippocampal CA1 interneurons but, in contrast to synaptic responses in pyramidal neurons, these are highly diverse in waveform, although can still be classified into five distinct subtypes. The most common response type (i) 64% of cells) consisted of a slow sustained membrane potential depolarization. The other 36% of responses could be subdivided into responses comprising of (ii) a biphasic membrane potential change in which an initial slow hyperpolarization subsequently transforms into a slow depolarization (20%), (iii) a pure, slow hyperpolarization (13%), and (iv) an oscillatory response persisting for several seconds (2%). Interestingly, there were also interneurons totally insensitive to both synaptic and pharmacological cholinergic challenge. Morphological investigation of recorded cells revealed no obvious correlation between responsiveness to cholinergic afferent stimulation and dendritic and axonal arborization. The current study suggests that synaptic release of ACh results in a complex and differential mAChR-mediated modulation of cellular excitability within the hippocampal interneuron population.
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ABSTRACT: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) regulate neuronal excitability within the CNS. To assess the possible modulatory influence of nAChRs on epileptiform activity, a range of nAChR ligands were applied during experimentally induced epileptiform activity in rat hippocampal slices. Bath application of the potassium channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4AP; 10-50 microM) resulted in the development of spontaneous epileptiform bursting activity in area CA3 that consisted of short duration (257+/-15 ms) field events occurring regularly at a frequency of 0.4+/-0.02 Hz. Subsequent co-application of the selective nAChR agonists 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenyl-piperazinium iodide (DMPP; 0.3-300 microM), choline (0.01-3mM) and lobeline (3-30 microM) produced sustained and concentration-dependent increases in burst frequency with maximal frequency potentiation of 37+/-5%, 27+/-5% and 24+/-11%, respectively. DMPP (10-30 microM; n=31) also potentiated epileptiform bursting induced by reducing GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission using 20 microM bicuculline or enhancing NMDA receptor-mediated excitation by lowering extracellular Mg(2+). Irrespective of the epileptiform model studied all nAChR agonist induced frequency potentiation was reversed upon washout of the agonist or co-application of one of the selective nAChR antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine (10-30 microM), mecamylamine (50-200 microM) or alpha-bungarotoxin (100 nM). These results provide compelling evidence that activation of nAChRs exacerbate epileptiform activity in the rat hippocampus.