Effect of dopamine and baclofen on N-methyl-d-aspartate-induced burst firing in rat ventral tegmental neurons

V. Seutin, Steven Johnson, R. A. North

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Abstract

Intracellular microelectrode recordings were made from dopamine-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area or substantia nigra zona compacta in rat brain slices in vitro. The firing pattern of the neurons was switched from a tonic, single-spike pattern to a burst firing mode by adding N-methyl-d-aspartate (20 μM) to the supervising solution; after adding tetrodotoxin the membrane potential underwent rhythmical oscillations of 20-40 mV at 0.5-2 Hz. Baclofen (1 μM) and dopamine (30 μM) hyperpolarized the neurons; when the potential was restored to its original level, the oscillations of potential and/or burst firing were not observed, but the tonic firing pattern was restored. These effects of baclofen and dopamine were prevented by barium (1 mM), which also prevented the membrane hyperpolarization. Oscillations of membrane current of a similar frequency were observed when the somatic membrane was voltage-clamped at -60 mV; these were also blocked by barium (1 mM). It is concluded that the oscillations in membrane potential observed with N-methyl-d-aspartate are generated predominantly at a dendritic location which is not voltage-clamped with an electrode at the soma. Baclofen and dopamine inhibit the oscillations by increasing the potassium conductance and hyperpolarizing the dendrites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

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Baclofen
Aspartic Acid
Dopamine
Barium
Neurons
Membrane Potentials
Membranes
Ventral Tegmental Area
Dopaminergic Neurons
Tetrodotoxin
Herpes Zoster
Carisoprodol
Microelectrodes
Dendrites
Potassium
Electrodes
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Effect of dopamine and baclofen on N-methyl-d-aspartate-induced burst firing in rat ventral tegmental neurons. / Seutin, V.; Johnson, Steven; North, R. A.

In: Neuroscience, Vol. 58, No. 1, 1994, p. 201-206.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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