Scientific reports

Modulation of AMPA receptor mediated current by nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in layer I neurons of rat prefrontal cortex.

PMID 26370265


Layer I neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) exhibit extensive synaptic connections with deep layer neurons, implying their important role in the neural circuit. Study demonstrates that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) increases excitatory neurotransmission in this layer. Here we found that nicotine selectively increased the amplitude of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated current and AMPA/NMDA ratio, while without effect on NMDA receptor-mediated current. The augmentation of AMPAR current by nicotine was inhibited by a selective α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) and intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA. In addition, nicotinic effect on mEPSC or paired-pulse ratio was also prevented by MLA. Moreover, an enhanced inward rectification of AMPAR current by nicotine suggested a functional role of calcium permeable and GluA1 containing AMPAR. Consistently, nicotine enhancement of AMPAR current was inhibited by a selective calcium-permeable AMPAR inhibitor IEM-1460. Finally, the intracellular inclusion of synthetic peptide designed to block GluA1 subunit of AMPAR at CAMKII, PKC or PKA phosphorylation site, as well as corresponding kinase inhibitor, blocked nicotinic augmentation of AMPA/NMDA ratio. These results have revealed that nicotine increases AMPAR current by modulating the phosphorylation state of GluA1 which is dependent on α7-nAChR and intracellular calcium.