Dopamine prevents muscarinic-induced decrease of glutamate release in the auditory cortex

M. Atzori, P. O. Kanold, J. C. Pineda, J. Flores-Hernandez, R. D. Paz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Acetylcholine and dopamine are simultaneously released in the cortex at the occurrence of novel stimuli. In addition to a series of excitatory effects, acetylcholine decreases the release of glutamate acting on presynaptic muscarinic receptors. By recording evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents in layers II/III neurons of the auditory cortex, we found that activation of muscarinic receptors by oxotremorine reduces the amplitude of glutamatergic current (Aoxo/Actr=0.53±0.17) in the absence but not in the presence of dopamine (Aoxo/Actr=0.89±0. 12 in 20μM dopamine). These data suggested that an excessive sensitivity to dopamine, such as postulated in schizophrenia, could prevent the decrease of glutamate release associated with the activation of cholinergic corticopetal nuclei. Thus, a possible mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs could be through a depression of the glutamatergic signal in the auditory cortex. We tested the capability of haloperidol, clozapine and lamotrigine to affect glutamatergic synaptic currents and their muscarinic modulation. We found that antipsychotics not only work as dopamine receptor antagonists in re-establishing muscarinic modulation, but also directly depress glutamatergic currents. These results suggest that presynaptic modulation of glutamate release can account for a dual route of action of antipsychotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1165
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine
  • Neocortex
  • Patch-clamp
  • Presynaptic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Second-messenger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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