Electrical stimulation of the optic nerve evoked two positive waves with short latency, followed by a large negative wave in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of slices of hypothalamus of the rat. The latency to peak of the two positive waves and the large negative wave were 2.7 ± 0.1, 6.1 ± 0.1 and 10.3 ± 0.5 msec, respectively. Only the large negative wave disappeared in low calcium Ca2+-high magnesium (Mg2+) Krebs solution and with the addition of tetrodotoxin (1 μM) all the waves disappeared. Baclofen inhibited the large negative wave in a dose-dependent manner but not the two positive waves. Excitatory amino acid antagonists also inhibited only the large negative wave, i.e. it was reduced to about 70% by 1 mM glutamic acid diethyl ester and to about 50% by both 1 mM 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid and 1 mM dl-2-amino adipic acid. All waves were unaffected by 0.1 mM atropine, hexamethonium and curare. These results indicate that two positive waves, induced by stimulation of the optic nerve are attributed to nerve conduction and the large negative wave to the neurons of the supraehiasmatic nucleus, and that the neuronal pathway from the optic nerve to the suprachiasmatic nucleus may include aspartate and/or glutamate as an excitatory neurotransmitter.
- amino acid antagonist
- field potential
- retinohypothalamic pathway
- suprachiasmatic nucleus
- synaptic transmission blockade
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience