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      Convulsant bicuculline modifies CNS muscarinic receptor affinity

      , 1 , 1 , 2

      BMC Neuroscience

      BioMed Central

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          Previous work from this laboratory has shown that the administration of the convulsant drug 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MP), a GAD inhibitor, modifies not only GABA synthesis but also binding of the antagonist [ 3H]-quinuclidinyl benzilate ([ 3H]-QNB) to central muscarinic receptors, an effect due to an increase in affinity without modifications in binding site number. The cholinergic system has been implicated in several experimental epilepsy models and the ability of acetylcholine to regulate neuronal excitability in the neocortex is well known. To study the potential relationship between GABAergic and cholinergic systems with seizure activity, we analyzed the muscarinic receptor after inducing seizure by bicuculline (BIC), known to antagonize the GABA-A postsynaptic receptor subtype.


          We analyzed binding of muscarinic antagonist [ 3H]-QNB to rat CNS membranes after i.p. administration of BIC at subconvulsant (1.0 mg/kg) and convulsant (7.5 mg/kg) doses. Subconvulsant BIC dose failed to develop seizures but produced binding alteration in the cerebellum and hippocampus with roughly 40% increase and 10% decrease, respectively. After convulsant BIC dose, which invariably led to generalized tonic-clonic seizures, binding increased 36% and 15% to cerebellar and striatal membranes respectively, but decreased 12% to hippocampal membranes. Kd value was accordingly modified: with the subconvulsant dose it decreased 27% in cerebellum whereas it increased 61% in hippocampus; with the convulsant dose, Kd value decreased 33% in cerebellum but increased 85% in hippocampus. No change in receptor number site was found, and Hill number was invariably close to unity.


          Results indicate dissimilar central nervous system area susceptibility of muscarinic receptor to BIC. Ligand binding was modified not only by a convulsant BIC dose but also by a subconvulsant dose, indicating that changes are not attributable to the seizure process itself. Findings support the notion that the muscarinic receptors play a major role in experimental epilepsy and provide a new example of differential neuronal plasticity.

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          Most cited references 43

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          The role of glutamate in epilepsy and other CNS disorders.

           B Meldrum (1994)
          Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and, as such, it inevitably plays a role in the initiation and spread of seizure activity. It also plays a critical role in epileptogenesis. The process of "kindling" limbic seizures in rodents by repeated electrical stimulation is dependent on activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. The function of these receptors is enhanced in the hippocampus of kindled rats and in the cerebral cortex of patients with focal epilepsy. Microdialysis studies show an increase in the extracellular concentration of glutamate and aspartate before or during seizure onset, suggesting that either enhanced amino acid release or impaired uptake contributes to seizure initiation. Glutamate antagonists selective for NMDA or non-NMDA receptors are potent anticonvulsants when given systemically in a wide variety of animal models of epilepsy. They are of limited efficacy against kindled seizures in rats and (on the basis of preliminary evidence) in patients with drug-refractory complex partial seizures. Cognitive side effects appear to be a significant problem with competitive, as well as noncompetitive, NMDA antagonists. Glutamate receptor antagonists provide significant protection against brain damage following global or focal cerebral ischemia or acute traumatic injury in rodent models. Anticonvulsant compounds of the lamotrigine type, which act on sodium channels and reduce ischemia-induced glutamate release, are cerebroprotective in rodent ischemia models and are free from the cognitive side effects of NMDA-receptor antagonists.
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            Disruption of the m1 receptor gene ablates muscarinic receptor-dependent M current regulation and seizure activity in mice.

            Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors are members of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily expressed in neurons, cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle, and a variety of epithelia. Five subtypes of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors have been discovered by molecular cloning, but their pharmacological similarities and frequent colocalization make it difficult to assign functional roles for individual subtypes in specific neuronal responses. We have used gene targeting by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells to produce mice lacking the m1 receptor. These mice show no obvious behavioral or histological defects, and the m2, m3, and m4 receptors continue to be expressed in brain with no evidence of compensatory induction. However, the robust suppression of the M-current potassium channel activity evoked by muscarinic agonists in sympathetic ganglion neurons is completely lost in m1 mutant mice. In addition, both homozygous and heterozygous mutant mice are highly resistant to the seizures produced by systemic administration of the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine. Thus, the m1 receptor subtype mediates M current modulation in sympathetic neurons and induction of seizure activity in the pilocarpine model of epilepsy.
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              Role of specific muscarinic receptor subtypes in cholinergic parasympathomimetic responses, in vivo phosphoinositide hydrolysis, and pilocarpine-induced seizure activity.

              Muscarinic agonist-induced parasympathomimetic effects, in vivo phosphoinositide hydrolysis and seizures were evaluated in wild-type and muscarinic M1-M5 receptor knockout mice. The muscarinic agonist oxotremorine induced marked hypothermia in all the knockout mice, but the hypothermia was reduced in M2 and to a lesser extent in M3 knockout mice. Oxotremorine-induced tremor was abolished only in the M2 knockout mice. Muscarinic agonist-induced salivation was reduced to the greatest extent in M3 knockout mice, to a lesser degree in M1 and M4 knockout mice, and was not altered in M2 and M5 knockout mice. Pupil diameter under basal conditions was increased only in the M3 knockout mice. Pilocarpine-induced increases in in vivo phosphoinositide hydrolysis were completely absent in hippocampus and cortex of M1 knockout mice, but in vivo phosphoinositide hydrolysis was unaltered in the M2-M5 knockout mice. A high dose of pilocarpine (300 mg/kg) caused seizures and lethality in wild-type and M2-M5 knockout mice, but produced neither effect in the M1 knockout mice. These data demonstrate a major role for M2 and M3 muscarinic receptor subtypes in mediating parasympathomimetic effects. Muscarinic M1 receptors activate phosphoinositide hydrolysis in cortex and hippocampus of mice, consistent with the role of M1 receptors in cognition. Muscarinic M1 receptors appear to be the only muscarinic receptor subtype mediating seizures.

                Author and article information

                BMC Neurosci
                BMC Neuroscience
                BioMed Central (London )
                17 April 2006
                : 7
                : 32
                [1 ]Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencias "Prof. E. De Robertis", Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155, 1121-Buenos Aires, Argentina
                [2 ]Cátedra de Farmacología, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Junin 956, 1121-Buenos Aires, Argentina
                Copyright © 2006 Schneider and Arnaiz; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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