Serotonergic Inhibition of the T-Type and High Voltage-Activated Ca2+Currents in the Primary Sensory Neurons ofXenopusLarvae

Qian-Quan Sun, Nicholas Dale
1997 Journal of Neuroscience  
The primary sensory Rohon-Beard (R-B) neurons of Xenopus larvae are highly analogous to the C fibers of the mammalian pain pathway. We explored the actions of 5-HT by studying the modulation of Ca 2ϩ currents. In ϳ80% of the acutely isolated R-B neurons, 5-HT inhibited the high voltage-activated (HVA) currents by 16% (n ϭ 29) and the T-type currents by 24% (n ϭ 41). The modulation of the T-type and the HVA currents was mimicked by selective 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 1D agonists: 8-OH-DPAT and L-694,247.
more » ... DPAT and L-694,247. The effects of the agonists were blocked by their respective 5-HT 1A or 5-HT 1D antagonists: p-MPPI and GR127935, suggesting that both 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 1D receptors were involved. Approximately 70% of the actions of 5-HT on HVA currents was occluded by -conotoxin-GVIA (N-type channel blocker), whereas the rest of the modulation (ϳ30%) was occluded by Ͻ100 nM -agatoxin-TK (P/Q-type channel blocker). This suggests that 5-HT acts on N-and P/Q-type Ca 2ϩ channels. Neither the modulation of the T-type nor that of the HVA currents was accompanied by changes in their voltage-dependent kinetics. Cell-attached patch-clamp recordings suggest that the modulation of the T-type channel occurs through a membrane-delimited second messenger. We have studied the functional consequences of the modulation of T-type Ca 2ϩ channels and have found that these channels play a role in spike initiation in R-B neurons. Modulation of T-type channels by 5-HT therefore could modulate the sensitivity of this sensory pathway by increasing the thresholds of R-B neurons. This is a new and potentially important locus for modulation of sensory pathways in vertebrates.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.17-18-06839.1997 pmid:9278519 fatcat:tknd7ktqmbhfpcok5pokjjd7ba