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Different types of calcium channels mediate central synaptic transmission

Naturevolume 366pages156158 (1993) | Download Citation

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Abstract

SYNAPTIC transmission is mediated by calcium entry through voltage-dependent calcium channels in presynaptic nerve terminals1,2. Various types of calcium channel have been characterized in neuronal somata3& ndash;6, but it is not clear which subtypes induce transmitter release at central synapses. The N-type Ca2+ channel blocker & omega;-conotoxin GVIA (& omega;-CgTx) suppresses the excitatory postsynaptic responses only partially7,8, whereas potassium-induced release of glutamate from brain synaptosomes can be blocked by & omega;-Aga-VIA (ref. 9), a blocker of P-type calcium channels5,10 and possibly of other types of calcium channels11,12. Here we test type-specific calcium-channel blockers on postsynaptic currents recorded from neurons in thin slices of rat central nervous system13. Inhibitory postsynaptic currents in cerebellar and spinal neurons and excitatory postsynaptic currents in hippo-campal neurons are markedly suppressed by & omega;-Aga-IVA and reduced to a lesser extent by & omega;-CgTx. The L-type calcium channel blocker nicardipine had no effect. Our results indicate that at least two types of calcium channel mediate synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system.

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    • Tomoyuki Takahashi

    Present address: Department of Physiology, Institute for Brain Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113, Japan

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physiology, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto, 606, Japan

    • Tomoyuki Takahashi
    •  & Akiko Momiyama

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https://doi.org/10.1038/366156a0

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