Despite the evidence that cortical synaptic organization and cognitive functions are influenced by the activity of the cholinergic system during postnatal development, so far no information is available on the effects produced by acetylcholine (ACh) on synaptic transmission. In the present article, we show that the ability of visual cortex slices to respond to ACh depends on postnatal age. In adulthood, ACh exerts mainly a facilitatory action on synaptic transmission, depressing field potential (FP) amplitude only if applied at high concentrations (millimolar range). During early postnatal development, at postnatal day 13 (P13), facilitation by ACh was lacking, with depression of FP observed with concentration of ACh in the micromolar range. The magnitude of ACh facilitatory effects increases with age. The time course of ACh-dependent facilitation overlaps the developmental maturation of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), suggesting a close relationship between ACh action and AChE activity. Thus, age-dependent modification of the cholinergic modulatory action may affect cortical maturation by regulating the magnitude of synaptic transmission. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Developmental modulation of synaptic transmission by acetylcholine in the primary visual cortex

DOMENICI, LUCIANO
2006

Abstract

Despite the evidence that cortical synaptic organization and cognitive functions are influenced by the activity of the cholinergic system during postnatal development, so far no information is available on the effects produced by acetylcholine (ACh) on synaptic transmission. In the present article, we show that the ability of visual cortex slices to respond to ACh depends on postnatal age. In adulthood, ACh exerts mainly a facilitatory action on synaptic transmission, depressing field potential (FP) amplitude only if applied at high concentrations (millimolar range). During early postnatal development, at postnatal day 13 (P13), facilitation by ACh was lacking, with depression of FP observed with concentration of ACh in the micromolar range. The magnitude of ACh facilitatory effects increases with age. The time course of ACh-dependent facilitation overlaps the developmental maturation of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), suggesting a close relationship between ACh action and AChE activity. Thus, age-dependent modification of the cholinergic modulatory action may affect cortical maturation by regulating the magnitude of synaptic transmission. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/5881
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