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      The noradrenergic inhibition of an apamin-sensitive, small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel in hypothalamic gamma-aminobutyric acid neurons: pharmacology, estrogen sensitivity, and relevance to the control of the reproductive axis.

      The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

      Animals, Apamin, pharmacology, Estrogens, Female, Fluorescent Dyes, Glutamate Decarboxylase, metabolism, Guinea Pigs, Hypothalamus, cytology, drug effects, physiology, In Vitro Techniques, Membrane Potentials, Neurons, Norepinephrine, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Potassium Channels, Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated, Preoptic Area, Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1, Receptors, Adrenergic, beta, Reproduction, Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid

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          The present study sought to determine whether small-conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ currents underlie the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) in neurons of the preoptic area (POA), a brain region important in controlling reproduction. We used an ovariectomized, female guinea pig model to test two hypotheses: 1) the current associated with the AHP (I(AHP)) regulates the firing rate of POA neurons and 2) amine neurotransmitters modulate it in a gonadal steroid-sensitive manner. Intracellular recordings followed by combined histofluorescence/in situ hybridization for glutamic acid decarboxylase, 65-kDa isomer, revealed that POA neurons, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons, exhibited an AHP and spike frequency adaptation. The corresponding I(AHP) was sensitive to antagonism by CdCl2 (200 microM), apamin (0.3-1 microM), and dequalinium (3 microM). The beta-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol inhibited the I(AHP) in a dose-dependent, timolol-sensitive fashion. In addition, the alpha1-adrenergic receptor agonist methoxamine dose dependently inhibited the I(AHP) in a prazosin-sensitive manner and increased neuronal firing rate. Twenty-four-hour pretreatment with estradiol benzoate (EB; 25 microg, s.c.) markedly potentiated the inhibitory effect of methoxamine on the I(AHP), whereas that for isoproterenol was unaffected. Similarly, bath application of 17beta-estradiol (100 nM; 15-20 min) mimicked the effect of EB on the methoxamine-induced inhibition of the I(AHP). Thus, POA GABAergic neurons express an apamin-sensitive channel that mediates, at least in part, the I(AHP), and tempers the excitability of these cells. Furthermore, these studies demonstrate that estrogen enhances the alpha1-adrenergic receptor-mediated inhibition of this current.

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