Calcium currents and GABAB receptors in the dorsal sensory cells of the lamprey spinal cord

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Patch-clamp studies were performed on the isolated dorsal sensory cells of the spinal cords of three species of lamprey, Ichthyomyzon unicuspis, Petromyzon marinus, and Lampetra fluviatilis, to measure changes in the amplitudes of calcium current induced by GABA and its specific antagonists and agonists. The experiments showed that GABA (4 mM) reduced the peak amplitude of the calcium current by 28.5±4.9%, with subsequent recovery to 96.2±9.2% of control (n = 45). The GABAB agonist baclofen had similar effects. The GABAA agonists glycine and taurine had no effect on the Ca2+ current. The inhibitory effect of GABA was blocked by 2-hydroxysaclofen (a GABAB antagonist), but persisted in the presence of bicuculline (a GABAA antagonist). These results are evidence that the membranes of dorsal sensory cells contain GABAB receptors, which significantly increases our under-standing of the mechanisms of presynaptic inhibition in the spinal cords of the cyclostomata.

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