© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. The globus pallidus (GP) coordinates information processing in the basal ganglia nuclei. The contribution of nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) to the spiking activity of GP neurons is largely unknown. Several studies have reported that the effect of nAChRs in other nuclei depends on dopaminergic input. Via in vivo single unit extracellular recordings and intranuclear drug infusions, we analyzed the effects of local activation and blockade of nAChRs in neurons of both sham and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rats. In sham rats, the local application of nicotine and edrophonium (an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor) increases GP neurons spiking rate. Local application of mecamylamine, a neuronal nicotinic cholinergic antagonist, diminishes pallidal neurons spiking rate, an effect not produced by d-tubocurarine, a peripheral nicotinic cholinergic antagonist. Moreover, mecamylamine blocks the excitatory effect evoked by nicotine and edrophonium. In 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, local infusion of nicotine does not change pallidal neurons firing rate. Our results show that there is a tonic cholinergic input to the GP that increases their spiking rate through the activation of nAChRs and that this effect depends on functional dopaminergic pathways.
Ríos, A., Barrientos, R., Alatorre, A., Delgado, A., Perez-Capistran, T., Chuc-Meza, E., García-Ramirez, M., & Querejeta, E. (2016). Dopamine-dependent modulation of rat globus pallidus excitation by nicotine acetylcholine receptors. Experimental Brain Research, 605-616. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-015-4491-6