Amphetamine's effects on terminal excitability of noradrenergic locus coeruleus neurons are impulse-dependent at low but not high doses

Lawrence J. Ryan, James M. Tepper, Stephen J. Young, Philip M. Groves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The actions of amphetamine in the locus coeruleus and its terminal fields in the frontal cortex were studied using extracellular recording to measure terminal excitability, firing rate and the probability of antidromic action potential invasion of the somatodendritic region in urethane anesthetized rats. At low dose (0.25 mg/kg), amphetamine increased terminal excitability. In comparison, subsequent administration of the highest dose (5.0 mg/kg, i.v.) of amphetamine tested suppressed neuronal firing and blocked antidromic action potential invasion of the somatodendritic region. Despite the absence of impulse traffic, high dose amphetamine reversed the effect of low dose amphetamine in the terminal field and decreased terminal excitability. The α2 antagonist, yohimbine (0.5 mg/kg, i.v.), reversed the effects of high dose amphetamine on terminal excitability and somatodendritic invasion without re-instating neuronal firing. Noradrenergic autoreceptor agonists are known to decrease terminal excitability, whereas antagonists are known to increase terminal excitability. Thus, since low dose amphetamine produces the same effect on terminal excitability that antagonists do, it appears that low dose amphetamine may reduce autoreceptor activation by reducing norepinephrine release in frontal cortex as a consequence of inhibiting locus coeruleus neuronal firing. In contrast, high dose amphetamine acts like autoreceptor agonists do and decreased terminal excitability. Hence high dose amphetamine may increase norepinephrine release, even in the absence of impulse traffic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Volume341
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 19 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

Keywords

  • amphetamine
  • autoreceptor
  • locus coeruleus
  • norepinephrine
  • terminal excitability
  • α receptor

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