ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-000209-2
Properties of miniature glutamatergic EPSCs in neurons of the locomotor regions of the developing zebrafish
Ali, D.W., Buss, R.R., and Drapeau, P.
Date: 2000
Source: Journal of neurophysiology   83(1): 181-191 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Buss, Robert, Drapeau, Pierre
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate/pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione/pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists/pharmacology*
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials/drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials/physiology*
  • Glutamic Acid/physiology*
  • Larva
  • Motor Activity/physiology*
  • Motor Neurons/drug effects
  • Motor Neurons/physiology*
  • Neurons/drug effects
  • Neurons/physiology*
  • Picrotoxin/pharmacology
  • Receptors, AMPA/physiology
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid/physiology
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate/physiology
  • Spinal Cord/physiology*
  • Strychnine/pharmacology
  • Synapses/drug effects
  • Synapses/physiology
  • Tetrodotoxin/pharmacology
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 10634865
As a first step in understanding the development of synaptic activation in the locomotor network of the zebrafish, we examined the properties of spontaneous, glutamatergic miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). Whole cell patch-clamp recordings were obtained from visually identified hindbrain reticulospinal neurons and spinal motoneurons of curarized zebrafish 1-5 days postfertilization (larvae hatch after the 2nd day of embryogenesis). In the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and blockers of inhibitory receptors (strychnine and picrotoxin), we detected fast glutamatergic mEPSCs that were blocked by the AMPA/kainate receptor-selective antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX). At positive voltages or in the absence of Mg(2+), a second, slower component of the mEPSCs was revealed that the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-selective antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (AP-5) abolished. In the presence of both CNQX and AP-5, all mEPSCs were eliminated. The NMDA component of reticulospinal mEPSCs had a large single-channel conductance estimated to be 48 pS. Larval AMPA/kainate and NMDA components of the mEPSCs decayed with biexponential time courses that changed little during development. At all stages examined, approximately one-half of synapses had only NMDA responses (lacking AMPA/kainate receptors), whereas the remainder of the synapses were composed of a mixture of AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptors. There was an overall increase in the frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs with an NMDA component in reticulospinal (but not motoneurons) during development. These results indicate that glutamate is a prominent excitatory transmitter in the locomotor regions of the developing zebrafish and that it activates either NMDA receptors alone at functionally silent synapses or together with AMPA/kainate receptors.