Autoreceptor-mediated changes in dopaminergic terminal excitability: Effects of increases in impulse flow

James M. Tepper, Stephen J. Young, Philip M. Groves

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The effect of spontaneous and stimulation-induced alterations in impulse flow on the antidromic excitability of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons were investigated in urethane-anesthetized rats. Terminal excitability was found to be inversely related to the rate of spontaneous activity of nigral neurons. Conditioning stimulation applied to dopaminergic axons in the medial forebrain bundle was found to decrease terminal excitability, but axonal conditioning stimulation was without effect on antidromic response evoked from the medial forebrain bundle. Decrease iin terminal excitability induced by medial forebrain bundle stimulation could be blocked by local infusions of haloperidol into the region of the terminal fields, suggestingthat the effect was receptor-mediated. These results are consistent with the proposal that nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons may modulate the impulse-dependent release of dopamine from striatal nerve terminals as a function of firing rate by autoreceptor-mediated alterations in the electrical properties of the terminal membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • antidromic stimulation
  • autoreceptor
  • conduction
  • dopamine
  • excitability
  • impulse flow
  • substantia nigra


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