Nicotinic excitation of rat ventral tegmental neurones in vitro studied by intracellular recording

P. Calabresi, M. G. Lacey, R. A. North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

228 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intracellular recordings were made from presumed dopamine-containing neurones in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in rat brain slices. Nicotine (10-100 μM) and acetylcholine (ACh) depolarized the neurones. The depolarization caused by ACh was typically biphasic; both components were increased by neostigmine (0.1-10 μM), but only the slower component was blocked by scopolamine (1-10 μM). The nicotinic action of ACh, studied in the presence of neostigmine and scopolamine, persisted in the presence of tetrodotoxin (1 μM) and cobalt (2-5 mM). ACh or carbachol (30 μM) caused inward currents in neurones voltage-clamped near the resting potential. These currents reversed polarity at around -4 mV, were blocked by hexamethonium (1-100 μM) in a voltage-dependent manner, and showed desensitization with prolonged or repeated agonist applications. Depolarizations caused by ACh and carbachol were reduced in slices pretreated with κ-bungarotoxin, but were not changed by α-bungarotoxin. These responses to ACh and nicotine resemble those previously described on autonomic ganglion cells. The direct action on VTA neurones may contribute to the positive reinforcement associated with nicotine consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Volume98
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989

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Acetylcholine
Neurons
Nicotine
Bungarotoxins
Neostigmine
Ventral Tegmental Area
Scopolamine Hydrobromide
Carbachol
Autonomic Ganglia
Hexamethonium
Dopaminergic Neurons
Tetrodotoxin
Cobalt
Membrane Potentials
In Vitro Techniques
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Nicotinic excitation of rat ventral tegmental neurones in vitro studied by intracellular recording. / Calabresi, P.; Lacey, M. G.; North, R. A.

In: British Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 98, No. 1, 1989, p. 135-140.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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