Activation of β1-adrenoceptors excites striatal cholinergic interneurons through a cAMP-dependent, protein kinase-independent pathway

Antonio Pisani, P. Bonsi, D. Centonze, A. Martorana, F. Fusco, G. Sancesario, C. De Persis, G. Bernardi, P. Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of noradrenergic neurotransmission was analyzed in striatal cholinergic interneurons. Conventional intracellular and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made of cholinergic interneurons in rat brain slice preparations. Bath-applied noradrenaline (NA) (1-300 μM) dose-dependently induced both an increase in the spontaneous firing activity and a membrane depolarization of the recorded cells. In voltage-clamped neurons, an inward current was induced by NA. This effect was not prevented by α-adrenoceptor antagonists, whereas it was mimicked by the β-adrenoceptor agonist isoproterenol and blocked by the β1 antagonists propranolol and betaxolol. Interestingly, forskolin, activator of adenylate cyclase, mimicked and occluded the membrane depolarization obtained at saturating doses of both dopamine and NA. Accordingly, SQ22,536, a selective adenylate cyclase inhibitor, reduced the response to NA. Analysis of the reversal potential of the NA-induced current did not provide homogeneous results, indicating the involvement of multiple membrane conductances. Because cAMP is known to modulate Ih, the effects of ZD7288, a selective inhibitor of Ih current, were examined on the NA-induced membrane depolarization/inward current. ZD7288 mostly reduced the response to NA. However, both KT-5720 and H-89, selective protein kinase A (PKA) blockers, failed to prevent the excitatory action of NA. Likewise, calphostin C, antagonist of PKC, genistein, inhibitor of tyrosine kinase, and 8-Bromo-cGMP, blocker of PKG, did not affect the response to NA. Finally, double-labeling experiments combining β1-adrenoceptor and choline acetyltransferase immunocytochemistry by means of confocal microscopy revealed a strong β1-adrenoceptor labeling on cholinergic interneurons. We conclude that NA depolarizes striatal cholinergic interneurons via β1-adrenoceptor activation, through a cAMP-dependent but PKA-independent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5272-5282
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2003


  • CAMP
  • Electrophysiology
  • Noradrenaline
  • Slices
  • Striatum
  • TANs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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