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Neurobiology, signal transduction

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  • Biology (School of Humanities and Sciences) (Phd Program)

Publications

Journal Articles


  • Temperature effects on low-light vision in juvenile rockfish (Genus Sebastes) and consequences for habitat utilization JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY A-NEUROETHOLOGY SENSORY NEURAL AND BEHAVIORAL PHYSIOLOGY Reilly, C. R., Thompson, S. H. 2007; 193 (9): 943-953

    Abstract

    The absolute low-light sensitivity of four congeneric species of rockfish (genus Sebastes) was studied from analysis of electroretinograms measured in living fish. The purpose was: (1) to determine if temperature sensitive noise in rod photoreceptors affects the absolute limit to low-light sensitivity at environmentally realistic temperatures and light levels, and (2) to examine whether interspecific variations in habitat utilization within rockfish communities correlate with differences in visual sensitivity. It was found that the low-light sensitivity of individual retinae is inversely dependent on temperature, decreasing tenfold with a 10 degrees C increase in temperature. While in all four species, temperature had a similar effect on sensitivity, the absolute sensitivity levels were different. The four species could be divided into two groups based on measured sensitivity. Kelp and olive rockfish form a high-sensitivity group capable of responding to light levels approximately 50-fold lower than blue and black rockfish. The sensitivity groups correlated with reported diel activity patterns; the high-sensitivity group forages nocturnally, whereas members of the low-sensitivity group are quiescent during twilight and night and forage during the day.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00359-007-0247-5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000249070700003

    View details for PubMedID 17598113

  • The spectral sensitivity of the lens eyes of a box jellyfish, Tripedalia cystophora (Conant) JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY Coates, M. M., Garm, A., Theobald, J. C., Thompson, S. H., Nilsson, D. 2006; 209 (19): 3758-3765

    Abstract

    Box jellyfish, or cubomedusae (class Cubozoa), are unique among the Cnidaria in possessing lens eyes similar in morphology to those of vertebrates and cephalopods. Although these eyes were described over 100 years ago, there has been no work done on their electrophysiological responses to light. We used an electroretinogram (ERG) technique to measure spectral sensitivity of the lens eyes of the Caribbean species Tripedalia cystophora. The cubomedusae have two kinds of lens eyes, the lower and upper lens eyes. We found that both lens eye types have similar spectral sensitivities, which likely result from the presence of a single receptor type containing a single opsin. The peak sensitivity is to blue-green light. Visual pigment template fits indicate a vitamin A-1 based opsin with peak sensitivity near 500 nm for both eye types.

    View details for DOI 10.1242/jeb.02431

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240619400006

    View details for PubMedID 16985192

  • Central pattern generator for swimming in Melibe JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY Thompson, S., Watson, W. H. 2005; 208 (7): 1347-1361

    Abstract

    The nudibranch mollusc Melibe leonina swims by bending from side to side. We have identified a network of neurons that appears to constitute the central pattern generator (CPG) for this locomotor behavior, one of only a few such networks to be described in cellular detail. The network consists of two pairs of interneurons, termed 'swim interneuron 1' (sint1) and 'swim interneuron 2' (sint2), arranged around a plane of bilateral symmetry. Interneurons on one side of the brain, which includes the paired cerebral, pleural and pedal ganglia, coordinate bending movements toward the same side and communicate via non-rectifying electrical synapses. Interneurons on opposite sides of the brain coordinate antagonistic movements and communicate over mutually inhibitory synaptic pathways. Several criteria were used to identify members of the swim CPG, the most important being the ability to shift the phase of swimming behavior in a quantitative fashion by briefly altering the firing pattern of an individual neuron. Strong depolarization of any of the interneurons produces an ipsilateral swimming movement during which the several components of the motor act occur in sequence. Strong hyperpolarization causes swimming to stop and leaves the animal contracted to the opposite side for the duration of the hyperpolarization. The four swim interneurons make appropriate synaptic connections with motoneurons, exciting synergists and inhibiting antagonists. Finally, these are the only neurons that were found to have this set of properties in spite of concerted efforts to sample widely in the Melibe CNS. This led us to conclude that these four cells constitute the CPG for swimming. While sint1 and sint2 work together during swimming, they play different roles in the generation of other behaviors. Sint1 is normally silent when the animal is crawling on a surface but it depolarizes and begins to fire in strong bursts once the foot is dislodged and the animal begins to swim. Sint2 also fires in bursts during swimming, but it is not silent in non-swimming animals. Instead activity in sint2 is correlated with turning movements as the animal crawls on a surface. This suggests that the Melibe motor system is organized in a hierarchy and that the alternating movements characteristic of swimming emerge when activity in sint1 and sint2 is bound together.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000228602400022

    View details for PubMedID 15781895

  • Some precautions in using chelators to buffer metals in biological solutions CELL CALCIUM Patton, C., Thompson, S., Epel, D. 2004; 35 (5): 427-431

    Abstract

    Chelators and associated computer programs are commonly used to buffer metal ions in biological experiments. This communication discusses common misunderstandings and pitfalls in use of these buffers and provides information on choosing the best metal buffer for different experimental situations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ceca.2003.10.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220483300004

    View details for PubMedID 15003852

  • NO is necessary and sufficient for egg activation at fertilization NATURE Kuo, R. K., Baxter, G. T., Thompson, S. H., Stricker, S. A., Patton, C., Bonaventura, J., Epel, D. 2000; 406 (6796): 633-636

    Abstract

    The early steps that lead to the rise in calcium and egg activation at fertilization are unknown but of great interest--particularly with the advent of in vitro fertilization techniques for treating male infertility and whole-animal cloning by nuclear transfer. This calcium rise is required for egg activation and the subsequent events of development in eggs of all species. Injection of intact sperm or sperm extracts can activate eggs, suggesting that sperm-derived factors may be involved. Here we show that nitric oxide synthase is present at high concentration and active in sperm after activation by the acrosome reaction. An increase in nitrosation within eggs is evident seconds after insemination and precedes the calcium pulse of fertilization. Microinjection of nitric oxide donors or recombinant nitric oxide synthase recapitulates events of egg activation, whereas prior injection of oxyhaemoglobin, a physiological nitric oxide scavenger, prevents egg activation after fertilization. We conclude that nitric oxide synthase and nitric-oxide-related bioactivity satisfy the primary criteria of an egg activator: they are present in an appropriate place, active at an appropriate time, and are necessary and sufficient for successful fertilization.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088653800049

    View details for PubMedID 10949304

  • Cholinergic modulation of the Ca2+ response to bradykinin in neuroblastoma cells AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY Coggan, J. S., Thompson, S. H. 1997; 273 (2): C612-C617

    Abstract

    Fura 2 imaging was used to measure intracellular Ca2+ signals in N1E-115 mouse neuroblastoma cells during combined activation of bradykinin (BK) and cholinergic receptors. BK and carbachol (CCh) both activate phospholipase C (PLC) and cause Ca2+ release from inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-sensitive Ca2+ stores. The Ca2+ signal in response to CCh is prolonged by the activation of Ca2+ influx, but BK does not appear to activate the influx pathway. When BK and CCh are applied together (BK+CCh), the Ca2+ response is composed of both Ca2+ release and Ca2+ influx. Ca2+ influx is also activated by BK+CCh in a subset of cells that does not respond with a intracellular Ca2+ concentration increase when CCh is presented by itself. This suggests that CCh stimulates a Ca(2+)-silent cholinergic receptor that is not coupled to Ca2+ release but acts synergistically with BK receptors to activate Ca2+ influx. Pertussis toxin reduces influx without affecting release, indicating that the G protein that modulates the influx pathway is different from the G protein responsible for activating PLC. Cholinergic stimulation also causes progressive heterologous desensitization of BK-evoked Ca2+ release. Desensitization has the unique property of continuing to develop after the cholinergic agonist is removed and the cholinergic Ca2+ response has fully recovered. Heterologous desensitization is not the result of Ca2+ store depletion or a long-lasting inhibition of PLC or IP3-dependent Ca2+ release. Instead, it appears to involve an early step in the BK-signaling cascade, possibly at the level of the B2 receptor or associated G proteins.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XQ26200027

    View details for PubMedID 9277358

  • Cyclic GMP-gated channels in a sympathetic neuron cell line JOURNAL OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY Thompson, S. H. 1997; 110 (2): 155-164

    Abstract

    The stimulation of IP3 production by muscarinic agonists causes both intracellular Ca2+ release and activation of a voltage-independent cation current in differentiated N1E-115 cells, a neuroblastoma cell line derived from mouse sympathetic ganglia. Earlier work showed that the membrane current requires an increase in 3',5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) produced through the NO-synthase/guanylyl cyclase cascade and suggested that the cells may express cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels. This was tested using patch clamp methods. The membrane permeable cGMP analogue, 8-br-cGMP, activates Na+ permeable channels in cell attached patches. Single channel currents were recorded in excised patches bathed in symmetrical Na+ solutions. cGMP-dependent single channel activity consists of prolonged bursts of rapid openings and closings that continue without desensitization. The rate of occurrence of bursts as well as the burst length increase with cGMP concentration. The unitary conductance in symmetrical 160 mM Na+ is 47 pS and is independent of voltage in the range -50 to +50 mV. There is no apparent effect of voltage on opening probability. The dose response curve relating cGMP concentration to channel opening probability is fit by the Hill equation assuming an apparent KD of 10 microm and a Hill coefficient of 2. In contrast, cAMP failed to activate the channel at concentrations as high as 100 microm. Cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) channels in N1E-115 cells share a number of properties with CNG channels in sensory receptors. Their presence in neuronal cells provides a mechanism by which activation of the NO/cGMP pathway by G-protein-coupled neurotransmitter receptors can directly modify Ca2+ influx and electrical excitability. In N1E-115 cells, Ca2+ entry by this pathway is necessary to refill the IP3-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ pool during repeated stimulation and CNG channels may play a similar role in other neurons.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XP99900007

    View details for PubMedID 9236208

  • Activation of the nitric oxide cGMP pathway is required for refilling intracellular Ca2+ stores in a sympathetic neuron cell line CELL CALCIUM Harrington, M. A., Thompson, S. H. 1996; 19 (5): 399-407

    Abstract

    Fura-2 fluorescence imaging was used to measure changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in individual N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells during repeated activation of M1 muscarinic receptors with carbachol. Ca2+ transients could be elicited repeatedly at 4 min intervals with little decrement as long as external Ca2+ was present. When the cells were bathed in Ca(2+)-free saline, however, the response amplitude decreased rapidly in a use-dependent fashion, indicating that external Ca2+, and presumably Ca2+ influx, is required for refilling Ca2+ stores during the interval between trials. The response amplitude also decreased during repeated stimulation in cells treated with the NO-synthase inhibitor L-NMMA or with the guanylyl cyclase inhibitor LY-83583 even when Ca2+ was present. Application of the membrane permeable cGMP analog 8-Br-cGMP reversed the effect of L-NMMA and promoted refilling in the continued presence of NO-synthase inhibitor. These results indicate that activation of the NO/cGMP pathway is necessary for refilling Ca2+ stores during muscarinic signaling. Evidence is also presented suggesting that the NO/cGMP pathway is involved in long term modulation of the content of Ca2+ stores.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UQ96700005

    View details for PubMedID 8793180

  • The nitric oxide/cGMP pathway couples muscarinic receptors to the activation of Ca2+ influx JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Mathes, C., Thompson, S. H. 1996; 16 (5): 1702-1709

    Abstract

    Inward currents activated by 8-bromc-cGMP and by muscarinic agonist were compared in N1E-115 mouse neuroblastoma cells using perforated-patch voltage clamp and Fura-2 imaging. The cGMP analog activates a voltage-independent inward current that is carried at least in part by Ca2+ because it persists in Na(+)-free saline when Ca2+ is present and is blocked by external Mn2+ and Ba2+. The current is similar to the inward current that develops during stimulation of M1 muscarinic receptors, and the currents activated by agonist and by 8-bromo-cGMP are not additive, indicating that the same pathway is involved. Inhibition of cGMP production with NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), a competitive inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO)-synthase, prevents activation of Ca2+ current by agonist without affecting the content of intracellular Ca2+ stores or the ability of agonist to mobilize Ca2+. The inhibition is overcome by 8-bromo-cGMP. LY83583, a competitive inhibitor of guanylyl cyclase, reversibly blocks activation of Ca2+ current by agonist, again without affecting the content of Ca2+ stores or Ca2+ release. Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS, an inhibitory analog of cGMP, also reduces the Ca2+ current and reduces Ca2+ influx during muscarinic activation. It is concluded that cGMP is the necessary and sufficient intermediate in the pathway linking muscarinic receptor occupancy to the activation of voltage-independent Ca2+ current. The pathway involves positive feedback. Calcium entering via voltage-independent channels preferentially stimulates NO-synthase, which leads to enhanced cGMP production and greater Ca2+ influx. Positive feedback may explain the rapid increase in cGMP that occurs during muscarinic receptor activation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996TW14300012

    View details for PubMedID 8774438

  • THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPLETION OF INTRACELLULAR CA2+ STORES AND ACTIVATION OF CA2+ CURRENT BY MUSCARINIC RECEPTORS IN NEUROBLASTOMA-CELLS JOURNAL OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY Mathes, C., Thompson, S. H. 1995; 106 (5): 975-993

    Abstract

    The relationship between the depletion of IP3-releasable intracellular Ca2+ stores and the activation of Ca(2+)-selective membrane current was determined during the stimulation of M1 muscarinic receptors in N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells. External Ca2+ is required for refilling Ca2+ stores and the voltage-independent, receptor-regulated Ca2+ current represents a significant Ca2+ source for refilling. The time course of Ca2+ store depletion was measured with fura-2 fluorescence imaging, and it was compared with the time course of Ca2+ current activation measured with nystatin patch voltage clamp. At the time of maximum current density (0.18 + .03 pA/pF; n = 48), the Ca2+ content of the IP3-releasable Ca2+ pool is reduced to 39 + 3% (n = 10) of its resting value. Calcium stores deplete rapidly, reaching a minimum Ca2+ content in 15-30 s. The activation of Ca2+ current is delayed by 10-15 s after the beginning of Ca2+ release and continues to gradually increase for nearly 60 s, long after Ca2+ release has peaked and subsided. The delay in the appearance of the current is consistent with the idea that the production and accumulation of a second messenger is the rate-limiting step in current activation. The time course of Ca2+ store depletion was also measured after adding thapsigargin to block intracellular Ca2+ ATPase. After 15 min in thapsigargin, IP3-releasable Ca2+ stores are depleted by > 90% and the Ca2+ current is maximal (0.19 + 0.05 pA/pF; n = 6). Intracellular loading with the Ca2+ buffer EGTA/AM (10 microM; 30 min) depletes IP3-releasable Ca2+ stores by between 25 and 50%, and it activates a voltage-independent inward current with properties similar to the current activated by agonist or thapsigargin. The current density after EGTA/AM loading (0.61 + 0.32 pA/pF; n = 4) is three times greater than the current density in response to agonist or thapsigargin. This could result from partial removal of Ca(2+)-dependent inactivation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TJ40600009

    View details for PubMedID 8648300

  • Local positive feedback by calcium in the propagation of intracellular calcium waves BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL Wang, S. S., Thompson, S. H. 1995; 69 (5): 1683-1697

    Abstract

    In many types of eukaryotic cells, the activation of surface receptors leads to the production of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and calcium release from intracellular stores. Calcium release can occur in complex spatial patterns, including waves of release that traverse the cytoplasm. Fluorescence video microscopy was used to view calcium waves in single mouse neuroblastoma cells. The propagation of calcium waves was slowed by buffers that bind calcium quickly, such as BAPTA, but not by a buffer with slower on-rate, EGTA. This shows that a key feedback event in wave propagation is rapid diffusion of calcium occurring locally on a scale of < 1 micron. The length-speed product of wavefronts was used to determine that calcium acting in feedback diffuses at nearly the rate expected for free diffusion in aqueous solution. In cytoplasm, which contains immobile Ca2+ buffers, this rate of diffusion occurs only in the first 0.2 ms after release, within 0.4 micron of a Ca2+ release channel mouth. Calcium diffusion from an open channel to neighboring release sites is, therefore, a rate-determining regenerative step in calcium wave propagation. The theoretical limitations of the wave front analysis are discussed.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TV01700006

    View details for PubMedID 8580312

  • INTRACELLULAR CALCIUM SIGNALS IN RESPONSE TO BRADYKININ IN INDIVIDUAL NEUROBLASTOMA-CELLS AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY Coggan, J. S., Thompson, S. H. 1995; 269 (4): C841-C848

    Abstract

    The Ca indicator fura 2 was used to study the modulation of cytoplasmic Ca by bradykinin (Bk) in single N1E-115 murine neuroblastoma cells. Increases in cytoplasmic Ca in response to Bk were mediated by the B2 receptor subtype. Responses to high concentrations of Bk (1-100 nM) were homogeneous and characterized by a rapidly rising transient that decayed to baseline in the continued presence of agonist, with a half-time of 15 s. Responses to low concentrations of Bk (100-500 pM) were more heterogeneous, with longer latencies and often with oscillations. Pretreatment with thapsigargin for 20 min prevented the Ca response, showing that the Ca change results from intracellular Ca release. Removal of external Ca had little effect on the response to Bk, indicating that the agonist does not activate Ca influx. The extent of Ca release and refilling after Bk was tested with ionomycin. A saturating dose of Bk (20 nM) mobilizes > 90% of stored Ca within 30 s, and this is replaced slowly. Replacement of external Na by N-methyl-D-glucamine to block Na/Ca exchange affected the Ca response, causing decreases in latency and in the period of Ca oscillations and increases in overall duration and peak amplitude of the response.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RZ25900005

    View details for PubMedID 7485451

  • CALCIUM REQUIREMENT FOR CGMP PRODUCTION DURING MUSCARINIC ACTIVATION OF N1E-115 NEUROBLASTOMA-CELLS AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY Thompson, S. H., Mathes, C., Alousi, A. A. 1995; 269 (4): C979-C985

    Abstract

    Muscarinic agonists elicit large increases in intracellular Ca2+ and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) in N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells. Both signals are blocked in cells loaded with the Ca2+ buffer 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid showing that the increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) is necessary to stimulate cGMP accumulation. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) blocks the cGMP response without affecting the peak amplitude of the intracellular Ca2+ signal, and it is concluded that Ca(2+)-dependent activation of NOS is required for cGMP production. cGMP accumulation is reduced by 60% when cells are bathed in Ca(2+)-free saline, but the peak change in [Ca2+]i is not affected. This suggests that Ca2+ influx is strongly coupled to the activation of cGMP production, even though it makes a smaller contribution to the intracellular Ca2+ signal than does Ca2+ release. Thapsigargin, which releases Ca2+ from intracellular stores, activates Ca2+ influx and increases cGMP. The cGMP increase is transient and follows approximately the same time course as Ca2+ store depletion. Ca2+ influx remains activated after store depletion, however, which indicates that influx alone cannot sustain cGMP production. It is concluded that summation of Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ release is necessary to reach a threshold Ca2+ level needed to stimulate cGMP accumulation. Because of the large contribution from Ca2+ influx, we suggest that NOS or a cofactor necessary for its activation may be located close to Ca2+ channels in the membrane.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RZ25900022

    View details for PubMedID 7485468

  • THE LIFETIME OF INOSITOL 1,4,5-TRISPHOSPHATE IN SINGLE CELLS JOURNAL OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY Wang, S. S., Alousi, A. A., Thompson, S. H. 1995; 105 (1): 149-171

    Abstract

    In many eukaryotic cell types, receptor activation leads to the formation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) which causes calcium ions (Ca) to be released from internal stores. Ca release was observed in response to the muscarinic agonist carbachol by fura-2 imaging of N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells. Ca release followed receptor activation after a latency of 0.4 to 20 s. Latency was not caused by Ca feedback on IP3 receptors, but rather by IP3 accumulation to a threshold for release. The dependence of latency on carbachol dose was fitted to a model in which IP3 synthesis and degradation compete, resulting in gradual accumulation to a threshold level at which Ca release becomes regenerative. This analysis gave degradation rate constants of IP3 in single cells ranging from 0 to 0.284 s-1 (0.058 +/- 0.067 s-1 SD, 53 cells) and a mean IP3 lifetime of 9.2 +/- 2.2 s. IP3 degradation was also measured directly with biochemical methods. This gave a half life of 9 +/- 2 s. The rate of IP3 degradation sets the time frame over which IP3 accumulations are integrated as input signals. IP3 levels are also filtered over time, and on average, large-amplitude oscillations in IP3 in these cells cannot occur with period < 10 s.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QD18900007

    View details for PubMedID 7730788

  • FACILITATION OF CALCIUM-DEPENDENT POTASSIUM CURRENT JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Thompson, S. H. 1994; 14 (12): 7713-7725

    Abstract

    The activation of Ca-dependent K+ current, Ic, was studied in macropatches on the cell bodies of molluscan neurons. When a depolarizing voltage-clamp pulse was applied repeatedly, Ic facilitated in a manner that resembled the facilitation of synaptic transmitter release. Facilitation was characterized by an increase in Ic amplitude, a progressive increase in instantaneous outward current, and a decrease in utilization time. Experiments were done to investigate the mechanism responsible for Ic facilitation. Facilitation was reduced by microinjection of an exogenous Ca2+ buffer into the cytoplasm, indicating that facilitation is a Ca(2+)-dependent process. It was also reduced at elevated temperatures. Conversely, facilitation was greatly potentiated by blocking the Na/Ca exchange mechanism. It is concluded that the facilitation of Ca-dependent K+ current results from the accumulation of Ca2+ at the inner face of the membrane during the repeated activation of Ca2+ channels by depolarization. The Ca2+ indicator fluo-3 was used in fluorescence imaging experiments to measure changes in [Ca]i near the cell membrane during repeated depolarizing pulses and the interpretation of these results was aided by numerical simulations of Ca2+ accumulation, diffusion, and buffering in the peripheral cytoplasm. These experiments showed that the time course of Ic facilitation matches the time course of Ca2+ accumulation at the membrane. It was found that the strength of Ic facilitation varies among patches on the same neuron, suggesting that the accumulation of Ca2+ is not uniform along the inner surface of the membrane and that gradients in [Ca]i develop and are maintained during trains of depolarizing pulses. Potential mechanisms that may lead to local differences in Ca2+ accumulation and Ic facilitation are discussed.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PY00600043

    View details for PubMedID 7996206

  • CALCIUM CURRENT ACTIVATED BP MUSCARINIC RECEPTORS AND THAPSIGARGIN IN NEURONAL CELLS JOURNAL OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY Mathes, C., Thompson, S. H. 1994; 104 (1): 107-121

    Abstract

    The activation of muscarinic receptors in N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells elicits a voltage-independent calcium current. The current turns on slowly, reaches its maximum value approximately 45 s after applying the agonist, is sustained as long as agonist is present, and recovers by one half in approximately 10 s after washing the agonist away. The current density is 0.11 +/- 0.08 pA/pF (mean +/- SD; n = 12). It is absent in zero-Ca++ saline and reduced by Mn++ and Ba++. The I(V) curve characterizing the current has an extrapolated reversal potential > +40 mV. The calcium current is observed in cells heavily loaded with BAPTA indicating that the calcium entry pathway is not directly gated by calcium. In fura-2 experiments, we find that muscarinic activation causes an elevation of intracellular Ca++ that is due to both intracellular calcium release and calcium influx. The component of the signal that requires external Ca++ has the same time course as the receptor operated calcium current. Calcium influx measured in this way elevates (Ca++)i by 89 +/- 41 nM (n = 7). Thapsigargin, an inhibitor of Ca++/ATPase associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), activates a calcium current with similar properties. The current density is 0.22 +/- 0.20 pA/pF (n = 6). Thapsigargin activated current is reduced by Mn++ and Ba++ and increased by elevated external Ca++. Calcium influx activated by thapsigargin elevates (Ca++)i by 82 +/- 35 nM. The Ca++ currents due to agonist and due to thapsigargin do not sum, indicating that these procedures activate the same process. Carbachol and thapsigargin both cause calcium release from internal stores and the calcium current bears strong similarity to calcium-release-activated calcium currents in nonexcitable cells (Hoth, M., and R. Penner. 1993. Journal of Physiology. 465:359-386; Zweifach, A., and R. S. Lewis, 1993. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 90:6295-6299).

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NY01600005

    View details for PubMedID 7964592

  • THE AMINOGLYCOSIDE G418 SUPPRESSES MUSCARINIC RECEPTOR-ACTIVATED CALCIUM-RELEASE IN STABLY TRANSFECTED MURINE N1E-115 NEUROBLASTOMA-CELLS NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS Coggan, J. S., Kovacs, I., Thompson, S. H. 1994; 170 (2): 247-250

    Abstract

    The aminoglycoside G418 inhibited the release of calcium (Ca2+) from internal stores coupled to muscarinic receptors in murine N1E-115 neuroblastoma cells carrying the aminoglycoside resistance gene neomycin phosphotransferase (NPT). No significant effect was observed on responses coupled to histamine or bradykinin receptors. Cells were transfected using the eukaryotic expression vector pH beta APr-1-neo and selected using G418. Two groups were differentiated either in the continued presence of G418 or in the absence of G418. Carbachol (1 mM), histamine (200 microM) and bradykinin (100 nM) were administered to cells for thirty seconds and changes in [Ca2+]i were measured with fluorescence video microscopy of single cells loaded with the Ca2+ indicator fura-2. The effects of G418 on carbachol evoked Ca2+ release included a 73% reduction in the number of cells responding, a two fold increase in the time to reach half-maximal response, a 35% reduction of the peak [Ca2+]i in response to agonist and an elevation of resting [Ca2+]i from 99 +/- 14 nM (mean +/- S.E.M.) to 155 +/- 27 nM. Acute application (20 min) of G418 to transfected cells differentiated without G418 also reduced the percentage of cells responding to carbachol. This effect was less pronounced in non-transfected parent cells. Thus, the mechanism might involve a metabolite of G418 produced in cells expressing NPT. These results indicate that G418 attenuates Ca2+ release coupled to muscarinic receptors.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NK06900013

    View details for PubMedID 8058198

  • MEMBRANE TOXICITY OF THE PROTEIN-KINASE-C INHIBITOR CALPHOSTIN-A BY A FREE-RADICAL MECHANISM NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS Wang, S. S., Mathes, C., Thompson, S. H. 1993; 157 (1): 25-28

    Abstract

    The effects of calphostin A on cytoplasmic calcium levels, receptor-mediated calcium release, and membrane input resistance were measured in neuroblastoma cells. Calphostin A is a lipophilic, light-sensitive perylenequinone that generates singlet oxygen when illuminated. It inhibits the activity of protein kinase C (IC50 = 250 nM), but only in the presence of light. Phorbol esters normally attenuate carbachol-evoked calcium release. This effect was blocked by simultaneous exposure to light and calphostin A (40 nM) for 30 min. At higher doses (0.5-1 microM) calphostin A also approximately doubled the resting calcium level and decreased cell input resistance by 51%. These toxic effects did not occur in the dark or after preincubation with the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol. These data support the hypothesis that the calphostins act by partitioning into the membrane and producing singlet oxygen and endoperoxides which then irreversibly modify protein kinase C and other membrane proteins and lipids.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LN45300007

    View details for PubMedID 7694190

  • MEMBRANE TOXICITY OF THE PROTEIN-KINASE-C INHIBITOR CALPHOSTIN-A BY A FREE-RADICAL MECHANISM NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS Wang, S. S., Mathes, C., Thompson, S. H. 1993; 156 (1-2): 145-148

    Abstract

    The effects of calphostin A on cytoplasmic calcium levels, receptor-mediated calcium release, and membrane input resistance were measured in neuroblastoma cells. Calphostin A is a lipophilic, light-sensitive perylenequinone that generates singlet oxygen when illuminated. It inhibits the activity of protein kinase C (IC50 = 250 nM), but only in the presence of light. Phorbol esters normally attenuate carbachol-evoked calcium release. This effect was blocked by simultaneous exposure to light and calphostin A (40 nM) for 30 min. At higher doses (0.5-1 microM) calphostin A also approximately doubled the resting calcium level and decreased cell input resistance by 51%. These toxic effects did not occur in the dark or after preincubation with the antioxidant alpha-tocopherol. These data support the hypothesis that the calphostins act by partitioning into the membrane and producing singlet oxygen and endoperoxides which then irreversibly modify protein kinase C and other membrane proteins and lipids.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LN45200036

    View details for PubMedID 7692361

  • A-TYPE POTASSIUM CHANNEL CLUSTERS REVEALED USING A NEW STATISTICAL-ANALYSIS OF LOOSE PATCH DATA BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL Wang, S. S., Thompson, S. 1992; 63 (4): 1018-1025

    Abstract

    The spatial distribution of ion channels over the surface of a neuron is an important determinant of its excitable properties. We introduce two measures of channel clustering for use in patch-clamp experiments: a normalized chi-squared statistic (eta) and the number of zero-channel patches in a data set (Z). These statistics were calculated for data sets describing the distribution of A-type potassium channels on neurons of the nudibranch Doriopsilla and measurements of Ca-dependent outward current channels on bullfrog hair cells, as well as simulated channel distributions. When channels are clustered, eta is approximately equal to the amount of current in a cluster. The analysis shows that somatic A-channels in the nudibranch are distributed in clusters of approximately 50 channels each. The clusters are < 2 microns wide and are separated, on average, by 3.2 microns. Outward current channels on hair cells occur in clusters of approximately 27 channels each, in agreement with the original analysis. Channel clustering may reflect properties of the insertion or regulation of channels in the membrane.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JU25100016

    View details for PubMedID 1330039

  • INTRACELLULAR CALCIUM RELEASE IN N1E-115 NEUROBLASTOMA-CELLS IS MEDIATED BY THE M1 MUSCARINIC RECEPTOR SUBTYPE AND IS ANTAGONIZED BY MCN-A-343 BRAIN RESEARCH Mathes, C., Wang, S. S., Vargas, H. M., Thompson, S. H. 1992; 585 (1-2): 307-310

    Abstract

    Experiments using muscarinic receptor antagonists were done to determine which muscarinic receptor subtypes(s) mediate carbachol-evoked calcium release in N1E-115 cells. McN-A-343 and a new analog, (+/-)BN228, were weak antagonists and neither compound caused release on its own. The rank order of potency was 4-DAMP greater than pirenzepine greater than AFDX116 greater than (+/-)BN228 and McN-A-343. This profile, pirenzepine's high potency (19-fold greater than AFDX116) and its IC50 of 31 nM suggest that calcium release in this neuronal cell line is mediated by the M1 muscarinic receptor subtype.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JH13000042

    View details for PubMedID 1380873

  • CLUSTERED DISTRIBUTION AND VARIABILITY IN KINETICS OF TRANSIENT-K CHANNELS IN MOLLUSCAN NEURON CELL-BODIES JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Premack, B. A., Thompson, S., COOMBSHAHN, J. 1989; 9 (11): 4089-4099

    Abstract

    The spatial distribution of transient K current, IA, was studied using a combination of patch-clamp and whole-cell voltage-clamp techniques. The average IA current density in somatic patches is 0.64 times the current density in the entire axotomized cell body, a finding which suggests that the axon hillock or initial segment of the axon has a higher concentration of IA channels than much of soma. The highest density of active channels during the peak IA is 1/micron2 at a membrane voltage of -20 mV. There is no evidence for a gradient in the distribution of IA channels in the cell body, but the channels are not evenly distributed. The variability in the number of channels per patch for multiple patches on the same neuron is much higher than expected for a random distribution. Statistical analysis of the data yields a coefficient of dispersion of 8.1, a value indicating a high degree of clustering. The utility of this statistic for evaluating channel distributions is discussed. Several lines of evidence suggest that the upper limit for the area of IA channel clusters is approximately 250 micron2. Single-channel currents attributed to IA were recorded in the cell-attached configuration. The voltage dependence of channel opening and inactivation are the same as measured in whole-cell voltage-clamp experiments. The single-channel conductance is about 9 pS in normal saline. Patches 9-30 micron2 in areas that contain IA channels are often devoid of other K channel types, suggesting that IA channels can occur in isochannel clusters. IA inactivation follows an exponential time course in all of the neurons examined, but the time constant of inactivation ranges from 25 to 560 msec in different cells. The voltage dependence of activation and inactivation and the reversal potential of the current are approximately the same in all cells. When multiple patches on the same neuron are studied, it is found that IA inactivates exponentially with approximately the same time constant in each patch, regardless of patch area. The data suggest that each neuron expresses predominantly, and perhaps exclusively, a single type of IA channel with distinct kinetic properties. The wide range of IA inactivation time constants observed in different cell suggests that a large number of channel types are available for expression. Possible mechanisms for generating diversity in channel types are discussed.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989CA47400039

    View details for PubMedID 2585068

  • MEASUREMENT OF NONUNIFORM CURRENT DENSITIES AND CURRENT KINETICS IN APLYSIA NEURONS USING A LARGE PATCH METHOD BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL Johnson, J. W., Thompson, S. 1989; 55 (2): 299-308

    Abstract

    A large patch electrode was used to measure local currents from the cell bodies of Aplysia neurons that were voltage-clamped by a two-microelectrode method. Patch currents recorded at the soma cap, antipodal to the origin of the axon, and whole-cell currents were recorded simultaneously and normalized to membrane capacitance. The patch electrode could be reused and moved to different locations which allowed currents from adjacent patches on a single cell to be compared. The results show that the current density at the soma cap is smaller than the average current density in the cell body for three components of membrane current: the inward Na current (INa), the delayed outward current (Iout), and the transient outward current (IA). Of these three classes of ionic currents, IA is found to reach the highest relative density at the soma cap. Current density varies between adjacent patches on the same cell, suggesting that ion channels occur in clusters. The kinetics of Iout, and on rare occasions IA, were also found to vary between patches. Possible sources of error inherent to this combination of voltage clamp techniques were identified and the maximum amplitudes of the errors estimated. Procedures necessary to reduce errors to acceptable levels are described in an appendix.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989T097700010

    View details for PubMedID 2713443

  • INWARD RECTIFICATION IN RESPONSE TO FMRFAMIDE IN APLYSIA NEURON-L2 - SUMMATION WITH TRANSIENT K-CURRENT JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Thompson, S., Ruben, P. 1988; 8 (9): 3200-3207

    Abstract

    The response of Aplysia abdominal ganglion neuron L2 to the molluscan neuroactive peptide Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFamide) was studied in voltage-clamp experiments. In all of the experiments, focal application of the peptide to the soma activated an inward rectifier current and reduced the apparent amplitude of the transient K current, IA. In a few cells, Na and K currents were activated in addition to these effects. Voltage-jump experiments were performed to study the ionic dependence, kinetics, and voltage dependence of the inward rectifier. Inward rectification increased exponentially during hyperpolarizing pulses and recovered exponentially on return to the resting potential. The reversal potential was variable, but was near -40 mV at the beginning of experiments. Inward rectification was insensitive to changes in external Na, Ca, or K concentration, but lowering the external Cl concentration had complicated effects on current amplitude. When KCl microelectrodes were used, perfusion with low-Cl external saline increased the amplitude of the peptide-dependent inward rectifier and shifted its reversal potential to a more positive voltage. With KAc microelectrodes, perfusion with low-Cl saline reduced the amplitude of the current. Inward rectification increased when a KAc microelectrode was withdrawn and replaced with a low-resistance KCl electrode, even when there was no measurable change in reversal potential. These results suggest that the FMRFamide-dependent inward rectifier is a Cl current that, like the current described by Chesnoy-Marchais (1982, 1983), is modulated by intracellular Cl. FMRFamide reduced the apparent amplitude of IA without affecting the voltage dependence of IA activation or inactivation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q160200009

    View details for PubMedID 3171674

  • SPATIAL-DISTRIBUTION OF CA CURRENTS IN MOLLUSCAN NEURON CELL-BODIES AND REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN THE STRENGTH OF INACTIVATION JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Thompson, S., Coombs, J. 1988; 8 (6): 1929-1939

    Abstract

    The spatial distribution of Ca current in molluscan neuron cell bodies was studied using a large patch method in combination with 2-microelectrode voltage clamp. The method has a spatial resolution equal to about 0.1% of the cell body area. Ca current is not uniformly distributed. The current density varies between patches, changing by as much as a factor of 2.5 over a distance of 20 micron, and there is evidence that Ca current occurs in "hot spots" involving a few hundred channels. The current density increases in a moderately steep gradient from the soma cap, opposite the axon, toward the axon hillock. Ca currents in patches from different regions of the soma are qualitatively different. Currents near the soma cap do not inactivate or inactivate weakly during depolarization, while currents of equal density nearer the axon hillock exhibit pronounced inactivation. The strength of inactivation increases in parallel with the gradient in current density, but local differences in current density, or in the number of active Ca channels, do not explain the variability in inactivation. Inactivating and noninactivating Ca currents could not be distinguished on the basis of activation or deactivation kinetics, voltage dependence of activation, or sensitivity to hyperpolarizing conditioning pulses. Also, the amplitude of noninactivating current near the soma cap is reduced by intracellular Ca injection showing that, like the whole-cell current, Ca current in this region is subject to Ca-dependent inactivation. The data favor the hypothesis that these cells express only one type of Ca channel. Differences in the strength of inactivation may result from local differences in cytoplasmic Ca buffering, local modification of Ca channels in a way that changes their sensitivity to Ca-dependent inactivation, or local differences in the availability of cytoplasmic factors or enzymes that are necessary for inactivation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988N883300010

    View details for PubMedID 3385483

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