Pharmacological characterization of extracellular pH transients evoked by selective synaptic and exogenous activation of AMPA, NMDA, and GABAA receptors in the rat hippocampal slice

J Neurophysiol. 1995 Aug;74(2):633-42. doi: 10.1152/jn.1995.74.2.633.


1. Inhibitors of extracellular carbonic anhydrase (CAo) offer much promise as diagnostic tools in the study of the synaptic basis of activity-induced alkaline transients in the brain. However, most of the present information related to the effects of CAo blockers in nervous tissue comes from experiments that involve simultaneous synaptic activation of various types of postsynaptic receptor channels. In the present work, double-barreled H(+)-selective microelectrodes were used to study alkaline shifts in extracellular pH (pHo) evoked by selective synaptic and pharmacological activation of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the CA1 cell body layer in rat hippocampal slices. Inhibition of CAo was achieved with the use of the poorly permeant carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, benzolamide (10 microM; applied in the bath solution) or the impermeant macromolecular inhibitor, prontosil-dextran 5000 (PD 5000; applied in microdrops). 2. Alkaline transients that were exclusively attributable to synaptic activation of glutamate receptors were induced by stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in the presence of picrotoxin (PiTX, 100 microM). An enhancement by the CAo inhibitors of these alkaline transients took place at all stimulus frequencies (5-200 Hz) and stimulus train durations (0.5-20 s) examined. 3. Inhibition of CAo enhanced the alkaline transients evoked by selective synaptic activation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyli-oxazolate- 4-propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors in experiments involving stimulation of Schaffer collaterals in the simultaneous presence of PiTX and D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentoate (AP5, 40-80 microM). 4. Alkaline shifts evoked by selective synaptic activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors were enhanced after inhibition of CAo as seen in experiments where Schaffer collaterals were stimulated in the simultaneous presence of PiTX and 6-cyano-2,3-dihydroxy-7-nitroquinoxaline (CNQX, 20-40 microM) in an Mg(2+)-free solution. 5. Benzolamide and PD 5000 also enhanced the alkaline shifts seen upon pressure injection of glutamate, AMPA, or NMDA. The glutamate-induced alkaline shifts were inhibited by AP5+CNQX, suggesting that uptake of glutamate did not significantly contribute to their generation. 6. Stimuli applied at 5-10 Hz in stratum radiatum close (within 0.5 mm) to the recording site evoked alkaline shifts that were blocked by CNQX plus AP5. In the continuous presence of the two glutamate antagonists, PiTX-sensitive alkaline transients were observed in response to brief high-frequency (20-100 Hz) trains consisting of 100 stimuli. Upon application of pentobarbital sodium (100 microM), these apparently monosynaptically evoked GABAA receptor-mediated alkaline transients were evident also at low stimulation frequencies (5-10 Hz).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Benzolamide / pharmacology
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, AMPA / drug effects*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects*
  • Time Factors


  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Benzolamide