We investigated P2X purinoceptors in rat dorsomedial hypothalamic (DMH) neurons using nystatin-perforated patch-clamp recordings and fura-2 microfluorometry. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration-dependently evoked an inward current and increased cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca]i). The rise in [Ca]i was dependent on external Ca2+ and Na+, was blocked by Ca2+ channel antagonists and had pharmacological properties consistent with P2X2 receptors. These results suggest that P2X receptor-mediated depolarization activates voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels, resulting in an increase in [Ca]i.
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