Central cholinergic overstimulation results in prolonged seizures of status epilepticus in humans and experimental animals. Cellular mechanisms of underlying seizures caused by cholinergic stimulation remain uncertain, but enhanced glutamatergic transmission is a potential mechanism. Paraoxon, an organophosphate cholinesterase inhibitor, enhanced glutamatergic transmission on hippocampal granule cells synapses by increasing the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in a concentration- dependent fashion. The amplitude of mEPSCs was not increased, which suggested the possibility of enhanced action potential-dependent release. Analysis of EPSCs evoked by minimal stimulation revealed reduced failures and increased amplitude of evoked responses. The ratio of amplitudes of EPSCs evoked by paired stimuli was also altered. The effect of paraoxon on glutamatergic transmission was blocked by the muscarinic antagonist atropine and partially mimicked by carbachol. The nicotinic receptor antagonist α -bungarotoxin did not block the effects of paraoxon; however, nicotine enhanced glutamatergic transmission. These studies suggested that cholinergic overstimulation enhances glutamatergic transmission by enhancing neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas