Activation of muscarinic receptors increases the activity of the granule neurones of the rat dorsal cochlear nucleus - A calcium imaging study

Áron Koszeghy, János Vincze, Zoltán Rusznák, Yuhong Fu, George Paxinos, László Csernoch, Géza Szücs

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Acetylcholine modulates the function of the cochlear nucleus via several pathways. In this study, the effects of cholinergic stimulation were studied on the cytoplasmic Ca 2+ concentration of granule neurones of the rat dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN). Ca 2+ transients were recorded in Oregon-Green-BAPTA 1-loaded brain slices using a calcium imaging technique. For the detection, identification and characterisation of the Ca 2+ transients, a wavelet analysis-based method was developed. Granule cells were identified on the basis of their size and localisation. The action potential-coupled character of the Ca 2+ transients of the granule cells was established by recording fluorescence changes and electrical activity simultaneously. Application of the cholinergic agonist carbamyl-choline (CCh) significantly increased the frequency of the Ca 2+ transients (from 0.37 to 6.31 min -1, corresponding to a 17.1-fold increase; n=89). This effect was antagonised by atropine, whereas CCh could still evoke an 8.3-fold increase of the frequency of the Ca 2+ transients when hexamethonium was present. Using immunolabelling, the expression of both type 1 and type 3 muscarinic receptors (M1 and M3 receptors, respectively) was demonstrated in the granule cells. Application of 1,1-dimethyl-4- diphenylacetoxypiperidinium iodide (an M3-specific antagonist) prevented the onset of the CCh effect, whereas an M1-specific antagonist (pirenzepine) was less effective. We conclude that cholinergic stimulation increases the activity of granule cells, mainly by acting on their M3 receptors. The modulation of the firing activity of the granule cells, in turn, may modify the firing of projection neurones and may adjust signal processing in the entire DCN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-844
Number of pages16
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - jún. 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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