Presynaptic inhibition of synaptic transmission by adenosine in rat subthalamic nucleus in vitro

K. Z. Shen, S. W. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from the subthalamic nucleus in rat brain slice preparations to examine the effect of adenosine on inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission. Adenosine reversibly inhibited both GABA-mediated inhibitory and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents. Adenosine at 100 μM reduced the amplitude of inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents by 42±5% and 34±6%, respectively. Reductions in the amplitude of both inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents were accompanied by increases in paired-pulse ratios. In addition, adenosine decreased the frequency of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents but had no effect on their amplitude. These results are consistent with a presynaptic site of action. The adenosine A1 receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine completely reversed the adenosine-induced attenuation of inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents, but 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine alone had no effect on synaptic currents evoked at 0.1 Hz. However, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine inhibited a time-dependent depression of excitatory postsynaptic currents that was normally observed in response to a 5 Hz train of stimuli, suggesting that endogenous adenosine could be released during higher frequencies of stimulation. These results suggest that adenosine inhibits synaptic release of GABA and glutamate by stimulation of presynaptic A1 receptors in the subthalamic nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2003


  • Adenosine A receptor
  • EPSC
  • Glutamate
  • IPSC
  • Subthalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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