Journal article

Presynaptic cholinergic action in the hippocampus

The hippocampus is among the regions in the brain richest in M1 cholinergic receptors. Topical application of acetylcholine (ACh) onto hippocampal slices produces a characteristic complex response consisting of a depolarization, an increase in input resistance especially upon depolarization and a blockade of a slow afterhyperpolarization (AHP). The first two of these responses can be recorded also in non-cholinergic septal neurons in an area which contains about 8% of the M1 muscarinic receptors found in the hippocampus. The responses of hippocampal but not septal neurons to ACh involve an increase in the spontaneous synaptic activity and a decrease in evoked responses to afferent stimulation. The dissociated hippocampal culture was used to study these presynaptic effects. The neurons in culture possess muscarinic receptors which develop gradually over a period of several weeks after plating. ACh rarely depolarizes hippocampal neurons in culture. Instead, it causes an increase in spontaneous discharge of small postsynaptic currents (PSC's) and a marked decrease of large, evoked PSC's. In some cultured hippocampal cells ACh reduced ICa without affecting any of several outward K currents studied. It is suggested that ACh reduces evoked activity by reducing Ca currents at presynaptic terminals.


    Record created on 2013-01-28, modified on 2017-05-12


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