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Sutor, Bernd; Alzheimer, Christian; Ameri, A. and Ten Bruggencate, Gerrit (1990): The low KM-phosphodiesterase inhibitor denbufylline enhances neuronal excitability in guinea pig hippocampus in vitro. In: Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, Vol. 342, No. 3: pp. 349-356 [PDF, 883kB]


The actions of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor denbufylline on the excitability of hippocampal neurons were investigated by means of extracellular and intracellular recordings. Denbufylline, which has been shown to selectively inhibit a low KM, Ca2+/calmodulin-independent phosphodiesterase isozyme, concentration-dependently increased the amplitude of the extracellularly recorded CAI population spike evoked by electrical stimulation of the Schaffer collateral/commissural pathway. Concentration-response-curves yielded an EC50 for denbufylline of 0.76 M. In comparison, the nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-lmethylxanthine (IBMX) also produced an increase in the amplitude of the population spike. From the concentration-response-curve, which was steeper than that of denbufylline, an EC50 for IBMX of 1.04 M was obtained. However, despite their similar EC50 values, denbufylline was found to be significantly more potent at lower concentrations (<- 300 nM) than IBMX. Intracellular recordings from CAI pyramidal cells revealed postsynaptic actions of denbufylline (300 nM) as indicated by a small drug-induced depolarization (2 – 5 mV) associated with an increase in membrane input resistance by 10–20%. In addition, denbufylline blocked the accommodation of trains of action potentials evoked by the injection of depolarizing current pulses. The results suggest i) that accumulation of adenosine-3,5-monophosphate (CAMP) in the postsynaptic cell and/or in the presynaptic terminal produced by blockade of phosphodiesterases leads to enhanced synaptic transmission in the CAI area of the hippocampus and ii) that a low KM, Ca 2+/calmodulin-independent cAMP-phosphodiesterase is an important component involved in the regulation of the intracellular cAMP level at synapses of central nervous system neurons.

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