PMID: 10377334Jun 23, 1999Paper

Selective excitation of subtypes of neocortical interneurons by nicotinic receptors

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
J T PorterEtienne Audinat


The cellular mechanisms by which neuronal nicotinic cholinergic receptors influence many aspects of physiology and pathology in the neocortex remain primarily unknown. Whole-cell recordings and single-cell reverse transcription (RT)-PCR were combined to analyze the effect of nicotinic receptor agonists on different types of neurons in acute slices of rat neocortex. Nicotinic receptor agonists had no effect on pyramidal neurons and on most types of interneurons, including parvalbumin-expressing fast spiking interneurons and somatostatin-expressing interneurons, but selectively excited a subpopulation of interneurons coexpressing the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and cholecystokinin. This excitation persisted in the presence of glutamate, GABA, and muscarinic receptor antagonists and in the presence of tetrodotoxin and low extracellular calcium, suggesting that the depolarization was mediated through the direct activation of postsynaptic nicotinic receptors. The responses were blocked by the nicotinic receptor antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine and mecamylamine and persisted in the presence of the alpha7 selective nicotinic receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine, suggesting that the involved nicotinic recep...Continue Reading

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