ATP participates in three excitatory post-synaptic potentials in the submucous plexus of the guinea pig ileum

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Synaptic transmission between neurones intrinsic to the wall of the intestine involves multiple neurotransmitters. This study aimed to identify neurotransmitters responsible for non-cholinergic excitatory synaptic transmission in the submucous plexus of the guinea pig ileum. Intracellular recordings were made from secretomotor and vasodilator neurones. A single electrical stimulus to a fibre tract evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) with three different time courses – fast, slow and an EPSP with an intermediate time course (latency 96 ms, duration 1.2 s). In all neurones, blocking nicotinic receptors reduced fast EPSPs, but they were abolished in only 57 of 78 neurones. Fast EPSPs were also reduced by P2 purinoceptor blockade (5 of 27 neurones) or 5-HT3 receptor blockade (3 of 20 neurones). The intermediate EPSP was abolished by P2 receptor blockade (13 of 13 neurones) or by the specific P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS 2179 (5 of 5 neurones) and was always preceded by a nicotinic or mixed nicotinic/purinergic fast EPSP. Intermediate EPSPs were observed in over half of all neurones including most non-cholinergic secretomotor neurones identified by immunoreactivity for vasoactive intestinal peptide. The slow EPSP evoked by a single pulse stimulus was also abolished by P2 receptor blockade (5 of 5 neurones) or by MRS 2179 (3 of 3 neurones). We conclude that fast EPSPs in submucous neurones are mediated by acetylcholine acting at nicotinic receptors, ATP acting at P2X receptors and 5-HT acting at 5-HT3 receptors. Both the intermediate EPSP and the single stimulus slow EPSP are mediated by ATP acting at P2Y1 receptors.
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Monro, R. L.
Bertrand, P. P
Bornstein, J. C.
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UNSW Faculty
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