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      Dynamic control of glutamatergic synaptic input in the spinal cord by muscarinic receptor subtypes defined using knockout mice.

      The Journal of Biological Chemistry

      Alkaloids, pharmacology, Alkenes, Animals, Furans, Glutamic Acid, metabolism, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Muscarinic Agonists, Naphthalenes, Oxotremorine, analogs & derivatives, Parasympatholytics, Piperidines, Posterior Horn Cells, cytology, Receptors, Muscarinic, genetics, physiology, Spinal Cord, Synapses, Synaptic Transmission, drug effects

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          Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) in the spinal cord inhibits pain transmission. At least three mAChR subtypes (M(2), M(3), and M(4)) are present in the spinal dorsal horn. However, it is not clear how each mAChR subtype contributes to the regulation of glutamatergic input to dorsal horn neurons. We recorded spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) from lamina II neurons in spinal cord slices from wild-type (WT) and mAChR subtype knock-out (KO) mice. The mAChR agonist oxotremorine-M increased the frequency of glutamatergic sEPSCs in 68.2% neurons from WT mice and decreased the sEPSC frequency in 21.2% neurons. Oxotremorine-M also increased the sEPSC frequency in ∼50% neurons from M(3)-single KO and M(1)/M(3) double-KO mice. In addition, the M(3) antagonist J104129 did not block the stimulatory effect of oxotremorine-M in the majority of neurons from WT mice. Strikingly, in M(5)-single KO mice, oxotremorine-M increased sEPSCs in only 26.3% neurons, and J104129 abolished this effect. In M(2)/M(4) double-KO mice, but not M(2)- or M(4)-single KO mice, oxotremorine-M inhibited sEPSCs in significantly fewer neurons compared with WT mice, and blocking group II/III metabotropic glutamate receptors abolished this effect. The M(2)/M(4) antagonist himbacine either attenuated the inhibitory effect of oxotremorine-M or potentiated the stimulatory effect of oxotremorine-M in WT mice. Our study demonstrates that activation of the M(2) and M(4) receptor subtypes inhibits synaptic glutamate release to dorsal horn neurons. M(5) is the predominant receptor subtype that potentiates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the spinal cord.

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