Roles of N-type and Q-type Ca2+ channels in supporting hippocampal synaptic transmission

Science  01 Apr 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5155, pp. 107-111
DOI: 10.1126/science.7832825


Several types of calcium channels found in the central nervous system are possible participants in triggering neurotransmitter release. Synaptic transmission between hippocampal CA3 and CA1 neurons was mediated by N-type calcium channels, together with calcium channels whose pharmacology differs from that of L- and P-type channels but resembles that of the Q-type channel encoded by the alpha 1A subunit gene. Blockade of either population of channels strongly increased enhancement of synaptic transmission with repetitive stimuli. Even after complete blockade of N-type channels, transmission was strongly modulated by stimulation of neurotransmitter receptors or protein kinase C. These findings suggest a role for alpha 1A subunits in synaptic transmission and support the idea that neurotransmitter release may depend on multiple types of calcium channels under physiological conditions.

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