Activation of locus coeruleus by prefrontal cortex is mediated by excitatory amino acid inputs

Eiichi Jodo, Gary Aston-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


We examined the role of excitatory amino acids (EAAs) in activation of noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) neurons evoked by electrical stimulation of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in halothane-anesthetized rats. Microinfusion of the specific N-methyl-Daspartate antagonist 2-amino-5- phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5, 50 or 100 μM) into the LC significantly suppressed LC responses evoked by mPFC stimulation. Microinfusion of the selective non-NMDA antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX, 25 or 50 μM) also significantly reduced evoked LC responses. Simultaneous microinfusion of both AP5 and CNQX considerably increased the proportion of LC neurons which exhibited complete suppression of evoked responses (81%), compared to either AP5 or CNQX alone (~ 50% each). These results indicate that LC activation by mPFC stimulation is mediated by both NMDA- and non- NMDA-type EAA channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 12 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Excitatory amino acid
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Norepinephrine
  • Prefrontal cortex


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