Sonnhof, U. and Grafe, Peter and Krumnikl, J. and Linder, M. and Schindler, Lucia
Inhibitory postsynaptic actions of taurine, GABA and other amino acids on motoneurons of the isolated frog spinal cord.
In: Brain Research, Vol. 100, No. 2: pp. 327-341
The actions of glycine, GABA, α-alanine, β-alanine and taurine were studied by intracellular recordings from lumbar motoneurons of the isolated spinal cord of the frog. All amino acids tested produced a reduction in the amplitude of postsynaptic potentials, a blockade of the antidromic action potential and an increase of membrane conductance. Furthermore, membrane polarizations occurred, which were always in the same direction as the IPSP. All these effects indicate a postsynaptic inhibitory action of these amino acids. When the relative strength of different amino acids was compared, taurine had the strongest inhibitory potency, followed by β-alanine, α α-alanine, GABA and glycine.
Topically applied strychnine and picrotoxin induced different changes of postsynaptic potentials, indicating that distinct inhibitory systems might be influenced by these two convulsants. Interactions with amino acids showed that picrotoxin selectively diminished the postsynaptic actions of GABA, while strychnine reduced the effects of taurine, glycine, α- and β-alanine. But differences in the susceptibility of these amino acid actions to strychnine could be detected: the action of taurine was more sensitively blocked by strychnine compared with glycine, α- and β-alanine.
With regard to these results the importance of taurine and GABA as transmitters of postsynaptic inhibition on motoneurons in the spinal cord of the frog is discussed.