Adenosine inhibition of mesopontine cholinergic neurons: Implications for EEG arousal

Donald G. Rainnie, Heinz C R Grunze, Robert W. McCarley, Robert W. Greene

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Abstract

Increased discharge activity of mesopontine cholinergic neurons participates in the production of electroencephalographic (EEG) arousal; such arousal diminishes as a function of the duration of prior wakefulness or of brain hyperthermia. Whole-cell and extracellular recordings in a brainstem slice show that mesopontine cholinergic neurons are under the tonic inhibitory control of endogenous adenosine, a neuromodulator released during brain metabolism. This inhibitory tone is mediated postsynaptically by an inwardly rectifying potassium conductance and by an inhibition of the hyperpolarization-activated current. These data provide a coupling mechanism linking neuronal control of EEG arousal with the effects of prior wakefulness, brain hyperthermia, and the use of the adenosine receptor blockers caffeine and theophylline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-692
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume263
Issue number5147
Publication statusPublished - Feb 4 1994

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Cite this

Rainnie, D. G., Grunze, H. C. R., McCarley, R. W., & Greene, R. W. (1994). Adenosine inhibition of mesopontine cholinergic neurons: Implications for EEG arousal. Science, 263(5147), 689-692.