A number of studies have begun to describe the effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) and the closely related brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the function of basal forebrain neurons. Little is known, however, about the effects of neurotrophins on membrane calcium conductances, which may play a role in growth factor signal transduction as well as regulation of neuronal excitability. Using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we investigated the effects of both NGF and BDNF on voltage-gated Ca 2+ -channel currents in cultured embryonic basal forebrain neurons. Exposure for 4-6 d to NGF significantly increased both the L-type and N-type components of the whole- cell current. Conversely, similar exposure to BDNF had no effect on Ca 2+ - channel currents. Consequently, one of the important effects of NGF may be to enhance calcium entry via voltage-dependent channels.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1995|
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