Muscarinic regulation of the neuronal Na+/K+-ATPase in rat hippocampus

Sandesh Mohan, Manindra Nath Tiwari, Marija Stanojević, Yoav Biala, Yoel Yaari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Key points: Stimulation of postsynaptic muscarinic receptors was shown to excite principal hippocampal neurons by modulating several membrane ion conductances. We show here that activation of postsynaptic muscarinic receptors also causes neuronal excitation by inhibiting Na+/K+-ATPase activity. Muscarinic Na+/K+-ATPase inhibition is mediated by two separate signalling pathways that lead downstream to enhanced Na+/K+-ATPase phosphorylation by activating protein kinase C and protein kinase G. Muscarinic excitation through Na+/K+-ATPase inhibition is probably involved in cholinergic modulation of hippocampal activity and may turn out to be a widespread mechanism of neuronal excitation in the brain. Abstract: Stimulation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors on principal hippocampal neurons enhances intrinsic neuronal excitability by modulating several membrane ion conductances. The electrogenic Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA; the ‘Na+ pump’) is a ubiquitous regulator of intrinsic neuronal excitability, generating a hyperpolarizing current to thwart excessive neuronal firing. Using electrophysiological and pharmacological methodologies in rat hippocampal slices, we show that neuronal NKA pumping activity is also subjected to cholinergic regulation. Stimulation of postsynaptic muscarinic, but not nicotinic, cholinergic receptors activates membrane-bound phospholipase C and hydrolysis of membrane-integral phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate into diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3). Along one signalling pathway, DAG activates protein kinase C (PKC). Along a second signalling pathway, IP3 causes Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum, facilitating nitric oxide (NO) production. The rise in NO levels stimulates cGMP synthesis by guanylate-cyclase, activating protein kinase G (PKG). The two pathways converge to cause partial NKA inhibition through enzyme phosphorylation by PKC and PKG, leading to a marked increase in intrinsic neuronal excitability. This novel mechanism of neuronal NKA regulation probably contributes to the cholinergic modulation of hippocampal activity in spatial navigation, learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3735-3754
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of physiology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • ACh
  • CA1
  • Na/K-ATPase
  • intrinsic excitability
  • muscarinic receptors
  • pyramidal cell
  • slow afterhyperpolarization
  • sodium pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Muscarinic regulation of the neuronal Na+/K+-ATPase in rat hippocampus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this