A characterization of glycinergic receptors present in cultured rat medullary neurons

J Neurophysiol. 1991 Oct;66(4):1291-303. doi: 10.1152/jn.1991.66.4.1291.

Abstract

1. Whole-cell current responses to bath application of glycine, beta-alanine, and taurine were studied in medullary neurons cultured from embryonic rats. 2. Two current components were seen in the responses to bath application of agonist, one component that desensitized and another that did not. 3. The two current components have different dose-response characteristics, with the nondesensitizing component being activated more effectively at lower concentrations than the desensitizing component and also reaching its peak at lower concentrations. The agonist concentrations producing half-maximal responses are 26 +/- 4 (SE, n = 6) and 69 +/- 17 (n = 7) microM for the nondesensitizing and desensitizing components, respectively, for glycine; 54 +/- 7 (n = 9) and 127 +/- 37 (n = 7) microM for beta-alanine; and 153 +/- 24 (n = 9) 443 +/- 99 (n = 3) microM for taurine. Thus, for each component, the order of potency is glycine greater than beta-alanine greater than taurine. 4. When total responses to glycine, beta-alanine, and taurine are compared in the same cells, taurine and beta-alanine are less potent agonists than glycine, with relative potencies of 1:0.4:0.1 for glycine-beta-alanine-taurine. 5. The desensitizing component is more sensitive to strychnine than the nondesensitizing one. The strychnine concentrations that block 50% of the response to a control dose of agonist are 15 and 500 nM for the desensitizing and nondesensitizing components, respectively, for glycine; 60 nM and 1 microM for beta-alanine; and 18 and 500 nM for taurine. 6. The complete occlusion between the responses to glycine and beta-alanine or glycine and taurine suggests that these agonists activate the same receptors. 7. The two current components may be manifestations of one receptor population with complicated kinetics or two independent receptor populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Medulla Oblongata / cytology
  • Medulla Oblongata / metabolism*
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Glycine
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / drug effects
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / physiology*
  • Strychnine / pharmacology
  • Taurine / pharmacology
  • beta-Alanine / pharmacology

Substances

  • Ion Channels
  • Receptors, Glycine
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • beta-Alanine
  • Taurine
  • Strychnine
  • Glycine