Muscarinic Agonists Cause Calcium Influx and Calcium Mobilization in Forebrain Neurons In Vitro

Ian J. Reynolds*, Richard J. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Abstract: We have examined the effects of the muscarinic agonist carbachol on the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in primary cultures of neurons from rat forebrain using the Ca2+‐sensitive fluorescent dye fura‐2. Addition of carbachol increased the [Ca2+]i in ∼60% of cells studied. Oxotremorine‐M, but not pilocarpine, mimicked the effects of carbachol. The response was reduced by 60% on removal of extracellular Ca2+, a finding suggesting that muscarinic receptor activation causes Ca2+ influx in addition to intracellular Ca2+ mobilization. Tetrodotoxin and nitrendipine also significantly reduced the response to carbachol. These studies suggest that the changes in [Ca2+]i produced by activation of muscarinic receptors result in part from mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ and that influx through voltage‐sensitive Ca2+ channels also provides a significant contribution to the net [Ca2+]i change observed

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1989


  • Carbachol
  • Fura‐2
  • Intracellular Ca
  • Muscarinic receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry


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