The effects of axotomy upon the extrasynaptic acetylcholine sensitivity of an identified motoneurone in the cockroach Periplaneta americana.

J. A. David*, R. M. Pitman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of axotomy on the sensitivity of the fast coxal depressor motoneurone (Df) of the cockroach (Periplaneta americana) to applied acetylcholine (ACh) and carbamylcholine (CCh) have been investigated. ACh and CCh applied to the soma membrane either by bath perfusion or by ionophoresis caused depolarization; repeated application of large doses of these agonists resulted in a relatively rapid desensitization and depression of the response. Axotomy performed 3-10 days before recordings were made caused an approximately threefold increase in the sensitivity to ACh but had no affect upon the sensitivity to CCh. The resting potential, input resistance and membrane time-constant remained within the normal range. In addition there was no change in the rise-times of the responses or of the ACh reversal potential, or in the apparent number of ACh molecules needed to combine with individual cholinoceptors to produce a response. The anticholinesterases physostigmine and neostigmine potentiated the ACh response at relatively low concentrations (10(-7) M-10(-6) M). This potentiation was significantly greater in the normal cells than in the axotomized cells. It is therefore concluded that the increase in ACh sensitivity of this motoneurone results at least partly from a fall in the activity of cholinesterase in the region of the applied drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-341
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume98
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1982

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