Compartmentalization of cyclic AMP elevation in neurons of Aplysia californica

Philip Hockberger*, Tetsuo Yamane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


1. We have measured by radioimmunoassay the amount of total, free, and bound forms of cyclic AMP (cAMP) within the abdominal ganglion and in five identified cell bodies of neurons from Aplysia californica. 2. In the abdominal ganglion the unbound (free) cAMP levels comprised approximately 25-30% of the total cAMP content under the unstimulated condition, i.e., bathed in high-magnesium saline. Under pharmacological conditions that blocked endogenous phosphodiesterase and activated adenylate cyclase, ganglionic free cAMP levels were elevated more than fourfold, while bound cAMP levels more than doubled. 3. Freeze-substitution techniques were employed to facilitate isolation of individual cell bodies either before or after pharmacological manipulation of cAMP levels. The basal, free cAMP content of cells R2, LP1, R15, L11, and L2-L6 was in the range of 10-40 pmol/mg of cell protein, which accounted for approximately one-half of the total cAMP content per cell body. Determinations of individual cell volumes indicated that the basal, free cAMP concentrations ranged from 1 to 6 μM. 4. Under the same pharmacological conditions that elevated ganglionic cAMP levels, no changes were measured in either the free or the bound forms of cAMP in isolated cell bodies. Our results indicate that the cAMP elevation was compartmentalized within the neuropilar region of the ganglion, most likely within the processes of the nerve cells. 5. Previous results demonstrated that cAMP injections into the same Aplysia neurons studied here induced a cAMP-activated sodium current, INa(cAMP). In this report we discuss the possibility that pharmacological elevation of cAMP within neuronal processes may reach concentrations similar to those produced by cAMP injections into somata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalCellular and molecular neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1987


  • compartmentalization
  • cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)
  • intracellular cAMP concentration
  • molluscan neurons
  • radioimmunoassay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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