Comparison of the effects of neurokinin-3 receptor blockade on two forms of slow synaptic transmission in myenteric AH neurons
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AH neurons are intrinsic sensory neurons of the intestine that exhibit two types of slow synaptic event: slow excitatory postsynaptic potentials which increase their excitability for about 2-4 min, and sustained slow postsynaptic excitation which can persist for several hours, and may be involved in long-term changes in the sensitivity of the intestine to sensory stimuli. The effects of the neurokinin-3 tachykinin receptor antagonist, SR142801, on these two types of synaptic event in AH neurons of the myenteric ganglia of guinea-pig small intestine were compared. Slow excitatory postsynaptic potentials were evoked by stimulation of synaptic inputs at 10-20 Hz for 1s, and sustained slow postsynaptic excitation was evoked by stimulation of inputs at 1Hz for 4 min. SR142801 (1microM) reduced the amplitude of the slow excitatory postsynaptic potential to 26% of control, and also reduced the increase in input resistance and the extent of anode break excitation associated with the slow excitatory postsynaptic potential. In contrast, SR142801 did not reduce the increase in excitability, the increase in input resistance or the depolarisation that occur during the sustained slow postsynaptic excitation. SR142801 did not change the resting membrane potential or the resting input resistance. We conclude that tachykinins, acting through neurokinin-3 receptors, are involved in the generation of the slow excitatory postsynaptic potential, but not in the sustained slow postsynaptic excitation, and that the release of transmitters from synaptic inputs to AH neurons is frequency coded.
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