Decay of ethanol-induced suppression of glycine-activated current of ventral tegmental area neurons

J. H. Ye, L. Tao, L. Zhu, K. Krnjević, J. J. McArdle

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We demonstrated previously that ethanol depresses glycine-induced currents in 45% of neurons freshly isolated from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats (Ye et al., 2001b), and that protein kinase C (PKC) modulates this action of ethanol (Tao and Ye, 2002). In the present study, we investigated the time course of this effect of ethanol on VTA neurons from young rats. For 70% of the neurons in which ethanol reduced glycine-evoked currents, this depressant effect gradually diminished during continuous superfusion with ethanol. Its action decayed faster when ethanol was applied in several brief pulses than by continuous superfusion. On the other hand, the decay was especially slower when ethanol was applied in pulses at longer intervals or by preincubation. Phorbol ester 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu, 1 μM), an activator of PKC, also depressed glycine-induced currents. In ∼40% (6/15) of the neurons, the effect of PDBu diminished with time and was antagonized by the specific PKC inhibitor, chelerythrine (7μM). Chelerythrine also attenuated the ethanol-induced depression of glycine-induced currents and its time-dependent decay, thus confirming our previous evidence that PKC mediates, at least in part, the decay of the depressant effect of ethanol on glycine-induced currents of VTA neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1886
Pages (from-to)788-798
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Chelerythrine
  • Freshly-dissociated neurons
  • Glycine receptor
  • Patch-clamp
  • Protein kinase C

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