Cholinergic and endocannabinoid neuromodulatory effects overlap on neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus of mice : NeuroReport

Journal Logo


Cholinergic and endocannabinoid neuromodulatory effects overlap on neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus of mice

Kovács, Adrienn; Bordás, Csilla; Pál, Balázs

Author Information
NeuroReport 26(5):p 273-278, March 25, 2015. | DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000342


The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) is a part of the reticular activating system and one of the main sources of the cholinergic fibers in the midbrain, while it is also subject to cholinergic modulation. This nucleus is known to be a structure that controls sleep–wake cycles, arousal, and locomotion. Neurons of the PPN are targets of several neuromodulatory mechanisms, which elicit heterogeneous pharmacological responses including hyperpolarization and depolarization, whereas lack of response can also be observed. In agreement with previous findings, we found that PPN neurons respond to the muscarinic agonist carbachol in a heterogeneous manner: they were depolarized and showed increased firing rate, decreased firing frequency, and were hyperpolarized, or showed no response. The heterogeneity of the muscarinic activation was similar to our previous observations with type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor agonists; therefore, we investigated whether muscarinic and endocannabinoid modulatory mechanisms elicit the same action on a certain neuron. To achieve this, whole-cell patch clamp experiments were conducted on midbrain slices containing the PPN. Carbachol was applied first and, after recording the changes in the membrane potential and the firing frequency and achieving washout, the CB1 receptor agonist arachidonyl-2′-chloroethylamide (ACEA) was applied. A marked but not full overlap was observed: all neurons depolarized by carbachol were depolarized by the CB1 receptor agonist ACEA, and all neurons lacking response to carbachol lacked response to ACEA as well. However, neurons hyperpolarized by carbachol were depolarized, hyperpolarized, or not affected by the ACEA. These results indicate that endocannabinoid and muscarinic modulatory effects involve similar mechanisms of action.

© 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid