The modulation of spontaneous miniature GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSC) by the metabotropic glutamate receptors was investigated in the mechanically dissociated rat nucleus basalis of Meynert neurons using the conventional whole-cell patch recording configuration. An application of (±)-1-aminocyclopentane-trans-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (tACPD) reversibly reduced the frequency of mIPSC without affecting the current amplitude distribution. The application of K+ channel blockers such as 4-aminopyridine, Cs+, Ba2+ or tetraethylammonium increased the mIPSC frequency, but failed to inhibit the tACPD action on mIPSC. Although the removal of Ca2+ from the extracellular solution reduced the mIPSC frequency, the inhibitory effect of tACPD on mIPSC was unaltered. These results suggested that neither voltage-dependent K+ or Ca2+ channels are involved in the inhibitory effect of tACPD on mIPSC frequency. Forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase, facilitated the mIPSC frequency in a concentration-dependent manner and inhibited the tACPD-induced suppression of mIPSC frequency. 8-Br-cAMP, a membrane permeable analog of cAMP, also prevented the inhibitory action of tACPD. However, Sp-cAMP, an activator of protein kinase A, could not prevent the inhibitory action of tACPD. L-CCG-I and (2R,4R)-APDC, group II mGluR agonists, mimicked the tACPD action on mIPSC frequency, but L-AP4, a group III mGluR agonist, had no such effect. MCCG, a group II mGluR antagonist, fully blocked the tACPD action. It was concluded that the activation of group II mGluR on the GABAergic presynaptic nerve terminals projecting to the rat nucleus basalis of Meynert neurons therefore inhibits the GABA release by reducing the activity of the cAMP-dependent pathway.
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