Time-dependent activity of primary auditory neurons in the presence of neurotrophins and antibiotics.
The convulsant compounds bicuculline (BICUC) and penicillin (PCN) are antagonists of GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition. In addition, we have shown that BICUC and PCN produced membrane depolarization of mouse spinal cord neurons in primary dissociated cell culture by blocking a potassium conductance, a non-synaptic direct effect. Both compounds also prolonged calcium-dependent action potentials of mouse dorsal root ganglion and spinal cord neurons in cell culture. Thus, BICUC and PCN had both synaptic and non-synaptic actions. The possibility that both synaptic and non-synaptic actions of BICUC and PCN are involved in their convulsant mechanism of action is discussed.