Neuroscience

More to Noradrenaline

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Science  14 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5869, pp. 1459-1461
DOI: 10.1126/science.319.5869.1459d

Noradrenaline is a well-established neuromodulator in many parts of the brain. Its effects have usually been described in terms of its impact on cells or synapses. Using paired recordings from connected GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus, Zsiros and Maccaferri investigated a novel type of noradrenergic modulation. Activation of -adrenergic receptors decreased gap junction-dependent electrical coupling between inhibitory interneurons. A series of pharmacological interventions established that this effect was due to activation of the cAMP/protein kinase A signaling cascade. Electrical coupling is important for the coordination of interneuron activity, which may lead to synchronous firing and oscillations of larger neuronal networks. Noradrenergic modulation of electrical coupling between connected inhibitory interneurons can thus have important effects on information transmission in the whole GABAergic inhibitory hippocampal network and hence on signal propagation throughout the hippocampus and the many other brain regions connected to it. PRS

J. Neurosc. 28, 1804 (2008).

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