The influences of metabotropic receptor activation on cellular signaling and synaptic function in amacrine cells.
- Evanna Gleason
- Visual neuroscience
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of dopamine on the function of synapses formed by cholinergic neurons derived from the rat retina. We used an experimental culture system in which rat striated muscle cells served as postsynaptic targets for cholinergic neurons of the retina. This culture system permitted the physiological monitoring of acetylcholine release at synapses formed by retinal neurons. We found that dopamine could facilitate evoked transmission at retina-muscle synapses. This facilitation by dopamine was reversible and could be blocked by haloperidol, a dopamine receptor antagonist. The adenosine 3':5'-phosphate analogue, 8-bromoadenosine 3':5'-phosphate, mimicked the facilitating effect of dopamine. In addition, dopamine elevated markedly the levels of adenosine 3':5'-phosphate in cultures of rat retinal cells. The results suggest that dopamine can regulate transmission through retinal neurons. Our findings support the hypothesis that a dopamine-induced facilitation of stimulus-evoked transmission involves the activation of dopamine receptors and the intracellular accumulation of adenosine 3':5'-phosphate.