- T. Gloveli
- A.V. Egorov
- D. Schmitz
- U. Heinemann
- W. Mueller
- European Journal of Neuroscience
- Eur J Neurosci 11 (10): 3626-3636
The entorhinal cortex (EC) is a major gateway for sensory information into the hippocampus and receives a cholinergic input from the forebrain. Therefore, we studied muscarinic effects on excitability and intracellular Ca2+ signalling in layer II stellate and layer III pyramidal projection neurons of the EC. In both classes of neurons, local pressure-pulse application of carbachol (1 mM) caused small, atropine-sensitive membrane depolarizations that were not accompanied by any detectable changes in [Ca2+]i. At a higher concentration (10 mM), carbachol induced a larger membrane depolarization associated with synaptic oscillations and epileptiform activity in both classes of neurons. In contrast to the intrinsic theta rhythm in stellate cells with one dominant peak frequency at approximately 7 Hz, the synaptically mediated oscillation induced by carbachol showed three characteristic peaks in the theta and gamma frequency range at approximately 11, 23 and 40 Hz. Although carbachol-induced epileptiform activity was associated with increases in intracellular free Ca2+ in both layer II and III cells, the observed [Ca2+]i accumulation was significantly larger in layer III than in layer II cells. Responses to intracellular current injections showed differences in Ca2+ accumulation in layer II and III cells at the same membrane potentials, suggesting a dominant expression of low- and high-voltage-activated Ca2+ channels in these layer II and III cells, respectively. In conclusion, we present evidence for significant differences in the [Ca2+]i regulation between layer II stellate and layer III pyramidal cells of the medial EC.