Acetylcholine activates an alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive nicotinic current in rat hippocampal interneurons, but not pyramidal cells.
ABSTRACT: The effects of acetylcholine on both pyramidal neurons and interneurons in the area CA1 of the rat hippocampus were examined, using intracellular recording techniques in an in vitro slice preparation. In current-clamp mode, fast local application of acetylcholine (ACh) to the soma of inhibitory interneurons in stratum radiatum resulted in depolarization and rapid firing of action potentials. Under voltage-clamp, ACh produced fast, rapidly desensitizing inward currents that were insensitive to atropine but that were blocked by nanomolar concentrations of the nicotinic alpha7 receptor-selective antagonists alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBgTx) and methyllycaconitine. Nicotinic receptor antagonists that are not selective for alpha7-containing receptors had little (mecamylamine) or no effect (dihydro-beta-erythroidine) on the ACh-induced currents. Glutamate receptor antagonists had no effect on the ACh-evoked response, indicating that the current was not mediated by presynaptic facilitation of glutamate release. However, the current could be desensitized almost completely by bath superfusion with 100 nM nicotine. In contrast to those actions on interneurons, application of ACh to the soma of CA1 pyramidal cells did not produce a detectable current. Radioligand-binding experiments with [125I]-alphaBgTx demonstrated that stratum radiatum interneurons express alpha7-containing nAChRs, and in situ hybridization revealed significant amounts of alpha7 mRNA. CA1 pyramidal cells did not show specific binding of [125I]-alphaBgTx and only low levels of alpha7 mRNA. These results suggest that, in addition to their proposed presynaptic role in modulating transmitter release, alpha7-containing nAChRs also may play a postsynaptic role in the excitation of hippocampal interneurons. By desensitizing these receptors, nicotine may disrupt this action and indirectly excite pyramidal neurons by reducing GABAergic inhibition.
Project description:Homopentameric alpha7 nicotinic receptors have a high affinity for acetylcholine (ACh), are permeable to Ca2+ ions, and are abundant in hippocampal interneurons. Although nicotinic agonists evoke inward currents and Ca2+ transients in stratum radiatum interneurons, the role of endogenous ACh in modulating synaptic integration by interneurons is incompletely understood. Many cholinergic axonal varicosities do not have postsynaptic specializations, but alpha7 receptors frequently occur close to synaptic GABA(A) receptors. These observations raise the possibility that alpha7 nicotinic receptors activated by ACh released from cholinergic axons modulate GABAergic transmission in interneurons. We show that agonists of alpha7 receptors profoundly depress GABAergic IPSCs recorded in stratum radiatum interneurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. This depression is accompanied by a small increase in GABA release. Alpha7 nicotinic receptor agonists also depress GABA- or muscimol-evoked currents in interneurons, indicating that the major effect is a postsynaptic modulation of GABA(A) receptors. The depression of GABA-evoked currents is abolished by chelating Ca2+ in the recorded interneuron and attenuated by inhibitors of PKC. We also show that stimuli designed to release endogenous ACh from cholinergic axons evoke an alpha7 receptor-dependent heterosynaptic depression of GABAergic IPSCs in interneurons. This heterosynaptic modulation is amplified by blocking cholinesterases. These results reveal a novel mechanism by which cholinergic neurons modulate information processing in the hippocampus.
Project description:Hippocampal inhibitory interneurons are a diverse population of cells widely scattered in the hippocampus, where they regulate hippocampal circuit activity. The hippocampus receives cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain, and functional studies have suggested the presence of different subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons. Single-cell polymerase chain reaction analysis had confirmed that several nAChR subunit mRNAs are co-expressed with glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), the marker for GABAergic interneurons. In this anatomical study, we systematically investigated the co-expression of GAD67 with different nAChR subunits by using double in situ hybridization with a digoxigenin-labeled GAD67 probe and (35)S-labeled probes for nAChR subunits (alpha2, alpha3, alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, alpha7, beta2, beta3, and beta4). The results revealed that most GAD67-positive interneurons expressed beta2, and 67 % also expressed alpha7 mRNA. In contrast, mRNA expression of other subunits was limited; only 13 % of GAD67-positive neurons co-expressed alpha4, and less than 10% expressed transcripts for alpha2, alpha3, alpha5, or beta4. Most GAD67/alpha2 co-expression was located in CA1/CA3 stratum oriens, and GAD67/alpha5 co-expression was predominantly detected in CA1/CA3 stratum radiatum/lacunosum moleculare and the dentate gyrus. Expression of alpha6 and beta3 mRNAs was rarely detected in the hippocampus, and mRNAs were not co-expressed with GAD67. These findings suggest that the majority of nicotinic responses in GABAergic interneurons should be mediated by a homomeric alpha7 or heteromeric alpha7*-containing nAChRs. Other possible combinations such as alpha2beta2*, alpha4beta2*, or alpha5beta2* heteromeric nAChRs could contribute to functional nicotinic response in subsets of GABAergic interneurons but overall would have a minor role.
Project description:Input-dependent left-right asymmetry of NMDA receptor epsilon2 (NR2B) subunit allocation was discovered in hippocampal Schaffer collateral (Sch) and commissural fiber pyramidal cell synapses (Kawakami et al., 2003). To investigate whether this asymmetrical epsilon2 allocation is also related to the types of the postsynaptic cells, we compared postembedding immunogold labeling for epsilon2 in left and right Sch synapses on pyramidal cells and interneurons. To facilitate the detection of epsilon2 density difference, we used epsilon1 (NR2A) knock-out (KO) mice, which have a simplified NMDA receptor subunit composition. The labeling density for epsilon2 but not zeta1 (NR1) and subtype 2/3 glutamate receptor (GluR2/3) in Sch-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses was significantly different between the left and right hippocampus with opposite directions in strata oriens and radiatum; the left to right ratio of epsilon2 labeling density was 1:1.50 in stratum oriens and 1.44:1 in stratum radiatum. No significant difference, however, was detected in CA1 stratum radiatum between the left and right Sch-GluR4-positive (mostly parvalbumin-positive) and Sch-GluR4-negative interneuron synapses. Consistent with the anatomical asymmetry, the amplitude ratio of NMDA EPSCs to non-NMDA EPSCs in pyramidal cells was approximately two times larger in right than left stratum radiatum and vice versa in stratum oriens of epsilon1 KO mice. Moreover, the amplitude of long-term potentiation in the Sch-CA1 synapses of left stratum radiatum was significantly larger than that in the right corresponding synapses. These results indicate that the asymmetry of epsilon2 distribution is target cell specific, resulting in the left-right difference in NMDA receptor content and plasticity in Sch-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses in epsilon1 KO mice.
Project description:Release of acetylcholine (ACh) in the hippocampus (HC) occurs during exploration, arousal, and learning. Although the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca (MS-DBB) is the major extrinsic source of cholinergic input to the HC, cholinergic neurons intrinsic to the HC also exist but remain poorly understood. Here, ChAT-tauGFP and ChAT-CRE/Rosa26YFP (ChAT-Rosa) mice were examined in HC. The HC of ChAT-tauGFP mice was densely innervated with GFP-positive axons, often accompanied by large GFP-positive structures, some of which were Neurotrace/DAPI-negative and likely represent large axon terminals. In the HC of ChAT-Rosa mice, ChAT-YFP cells were Neurotrace-positive and more abundant in CA3 and dentate gyrus than CA1 with partial overlap with calretinin/VIP. Moreover, an anti-ChAT antibody consistently showed ChAT immunoreactivity in ChAT-YFP cells from MS-DBB but rarely from HC. Furthermore, ChAT-YFP cells from CA1 stratum radiatum/stratum lacunosum moleculare (SR/SLM) exhibited a stuttering firing phenotype but a delayed firing phenotype in stratum pyramidale (SP) of CA3. Input resistance and capacitance were also different between CA1 SR/LM and CA3 SP ChAT-YFP cells. Bath application of ACh increased firing frequency in all ChAT-YFP cells; however, cholinergic modulation was larger in CA1 SR/SLM than CA3 SP ChAT-YFP cells. Finally, CA3 SP ChAT-YFP cells exhibited a wider AP half-width and weaker cholinergic modulation than YFP-negative CA3 pyramidal cells. Consistent with CRE expression in a subpopulation of principal cells, optogenetic stimulation evoked glutamatergic postsynaptic currents in CA1 SR/SLM interneurons. In conclusion, the presence of fluorescently labeled hippocampal cells common to both ChAT-tauGFP and ChAT-Rosa mice are in good agreement with previous reports on the existence of cholinergic interneurons, but both transgenic mouse lines exhibited unexpected anatomical features that departed considerably from earlier observations.
Project description:Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) signaling has been implicated in a variety of normal central nervous system (CNS) functions as well as an array of neuropathologies. Previous studies have demonstrated both neurotoxic and neuroprotective actions of peptides derived from apolipoprotein E (apoE). It has been discovered that apoE-derived peptides inhibit native and recombinant alpha7-containing nAChRs, indicating a direct interaction between apoE peptides and nAChRs. To probe the structure/function interaction between alpha7 nAChRs and the apoE peptide apoE(141-148), experiments were conducted in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing wild-type and mutated nAChRs. Mutation of Trp55 to alanine blocks apoE peptide-induced inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh)-mediated alpha7 nAChR responses. Additional mutations at Trp55 suggest that hydrophobic interactions between the receptor and apoE(141-148) are essential for inhibition of alpha7 nAChR function. A mutated apoE peptide also demonstrated decreased inhibition at alpha7-W55A nAChRs as well as activity-dependent inhibition of both wild-type alpha7 nAChRs and alpha7-W55A receptors. Finally, a three-dimensional model of the alpha7 nAChR was developed based on the recently refined Torpedo marmorata nACh receptor. A structural model is proposed for the binding of apoE(141-148) to the alpha7 nAChR where the peptide binds at the interface between two subunits, near the ACh binding site. Similar to the functional data, the computational docking suggests the importance of hydrophobic interactions between the alpha7 nAChR and the apoE peptide for inhibition of receptor function. The current data suggest a mode for apoE peptide binding that directly blocks alpha7 nAChR activity and consequently may disrupt nAChR signaling.
Project description:Central to synaptic function are protein scaffolds associated with neurotransmitter receptors. Alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) modulate network activity, neuronal survival and cognitive processes in the CNS, but protein scaffolds that interact with these receptors are unknown. Here we show that the PDZ-domain containing protein PICK1 binds to alpha7 nAChRs and plays a role in their clustering. PICK1 interacted with the alpha7 cytoplasmic loop in yeast in a PDZ-dependent way, and the interaction was confirmed in recombinant pull-down experiments and by co-precipitation of native proteins. Some alpha7 and PICK1 clusters were adjacent at the surface of SH-SY5Y cells and GABAergic interneurons in hippocampal cultures. Expression of PICK1 caused decreased alpha7 clustering on the surface of the interneurons in a PDZ-dependent way. These data show that PICK1 negatively regulates surface clustering of alpha7 nAChRs on hippocampal interneurons, which may be important in inhibitory functions of alpha7 in the hippocampus.
Project description:Neuromodulation of neural networks, whereby a selected circuit is regulated by a particular modulator, plays a critical role in learning and memory. Among neuromodulators, acetylcholine (ACh) plays a critical role in hippocampus-dependent memory and has been shown to modulate neuronal circuits in the hippocampus. However, it has remained unknown how ACh modulates hippocampal output. Here, using in vitro and in vivo approaches, we show that ACh, by activating oriens lacunosum moleculare (OLM) interneurons and therefore augmenting the negative-feedback regulation to the CA1 pyramidal neurons, suppresses the circuit from the hippocampal area CA1 to the deep-layer entorhinal cortex (EC). We also demonstrate, using mouse behavior studies, that the ablation of OLM interneurons specifically impairs hippocampus-dependent but not hippocampus-independent learning. These data suggest that ACh plays an important role in regulating hippocampal output to the EC by activating OLM interneurons, which is critical for the formation of hippocampus-dependent memory.
Project description:Alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7-nAChR) form Ca(2+)-permeable homopentameric channels modulating cortical network activity and cognitive processing. They are located pre- and postsynaptically and are highly abundant in hippocampal GABAergic interneurons. It is unclear how alpha7-nAChRs are positioned in specific membrane microdomains, particularly in cultured neurons which are devoid of cholinergic synapses. To address this issue, we monitored by single particle tracking the lateral mobility of individual alpha7-nAChRs labeled with alpha-bungarotoxin linked to quantum dots in live rat cultured hippocampal interneurons. Quantitative analysis revealed different modes of lateral diffusion of alpha7-nAChR dependent on their subcellular localization. Confined receptors were found in the immediate vicinity of glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic densities, as well as in extrasynaptic clusters of alpha-bungarotoxin labeling on dendrites. alpha7-nAChRs avoided entering postsynaptic densities, but exhibited reduced mobility and long dwell times at perisynaptic locations, indicative of regulated confinement. Their diffusion coefficient was lower, on average, at glutamatergic than at GABAergic perisynaptic sites, suggesting differential, synapse-specific tethering mechanisms. Disruption of the cytoskeleton affected alpha7-nAChR mobility and cell surface expression, but not their ability to form clusters. Finally, using tetrodotoxin to silence network activity, as well as exposure to a selective alpha7-nAChR agonist or antagonist, we observed that alpha7-nAChRs cell surface dynamics is modulated by chronic changes in neuronal activity. Altogether, given their high Ca(2+)-permeability, our results suggest a possible role of alpha7-nAChR on interneurons for activating Ca(2+)-dependent signaling in the vicinity of GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses.
Project description:1. Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic that is formulated as Ketalar, which contains the preservative benzethonium chloride (BCl). We have studied the effects of pure racemic ketamine, the preservative BCl and the Ketalar mixture on human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) composed of the alpha7 subunit or alpha4 and beta2 subunits expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. 2. Ketamine inhibited responses to 1 mM acetylcholine (ACh) in both the human alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nAChRs, with IC(50) values of 20 and 50 microM respectively. Inhibition of the alpha7 nAChRs occurred within a clinically relevant concentration range, while inhibition of the alpha4beta2 nAChR was observed only at higher concentrations. The Ketalar formulation inhibited nAChR function more effectively than was expected given its ketamine concentration. The surprising increased inhibitory potency of Ketalar compared with pure ketamine appeared to be due to the activity of BCl, which inhibited both alpha7 (IC(50) value of 122 nM) and alpha4beta2 (IC(50) value of 49 nM) nAChRs at concentrations present in the clinical formulation of Ketalar. 3. Ketamine is a noncompetitive inhibitor at both the alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nAChR. In contrast, BCl causes a parallel shift in the ACh dose-response curve at the alpha7 nAChR suggesting competitive inhibition. Ketamine causes both voltage-dependent and use-dependent inhibition, only in the alpha4beta2 nAChR. 4. Since alpha7 nAChRs are likely to be inhibited during clinical use of Ketalar, the actions of ketamine and BCl on this receptor subtype may play a role in the profound analgesia, amnesia, immobility and/or autonomic modulation produced by this anaesthetic.
Project description:Nicotinic and muscarinic ACh receptor agonists and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) can enhance cognitive function. However, it is unknown whether a common signaling pathway is involved in the effect. Here, we show that in vivo administration of nicotine, AChEIs, and an m1 muscarinic (m1) agonist increase glutamate receptor, ionotropic, N-methyl D-aspartate 2B (GluN2B)-containing NMDA receptor (NR2B-NMDAR) responses, a necessary component in memory formation, in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells, and that coadministration of the m1 antagonist pirenzepine prevents the effect of cholinergic drugs. These observations suggest that the effect of nicotine is secondary to increased release of ACh via the activation of nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) and involves m1 receptor activation through ACh. In vitro activation of m1 receptors causes the selective enhancement of NR2B-NMDAR responses in CA1 pyramidal cells, and in vivo exposure to cholinergic drugs occludes the in vitro effect. Furthermore, in vivo exposure to cholinergic drugs suppresses the potentiating effect of Src on NMDAR responses in vitro. These results suggest that exposure to cholinergic drugs maximally stimulates the m1/guanine nucleotide-binding protein subunit alpha q/PKC/proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2/Src signaling pathway for the potentiation of NMDAR responses in vivo, occluding the in vitro effects of m1 activation and Src. Thus, our results indicate not only that nAChRs, ACh, and m1 receptors are on the same pathway involving Src signaling but also that NR2B-NMDARs are a point of convergence of cholinergic and glutamatergic pathways involved in learning and memory.