• A possible role for intrinsic calcium buffers in the long- term adaptation of crayfish neurons

      McMahon, John Christopher.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      Increasing the impulse activity of neurons in vivo over 3 or more days causes a reduction in transmitter release that persists for days or weeks (eg. Mercier and Atwood, 1989). This effect is usually accompanied by decreased synaptic fatigue. These two changes involve presynaptic mechanisms and indicate "long-term adaptation" (LTA) of nerve terminals. Previous experiments have shown that LTA requires extracellular calcium and protein synthesis (eg. Hong and Lnenicka, Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 17:1322) and appears to involve communication between the cell body and the nerve terminals. The present study examines the possibility that the reduction in transmitter release is caused by an -increase in the calcium buffering ability within the nerve terminals. It examines the responses of adapted and control nerve terminals to exogenously applied calcium buffer, BAPTA-AM, which decreases transmitter release (Robitialle and Charlton, 1992). If LTA increases intrinsic Ca2+-buffering, the membrane permeant form of BAPTA should have less effect on adapted nerve terminals than on controls. Experiments are performed on the phasic abdominal extensor motor neurons of the crayfish, Procambarns clarkii. BAPTA-AM decreases excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSP's) of the phasic extensor muscles in a dosedependent manner between 5 and 50 JLM. LTA is elicited by in vivo stimulation at 2.5 Hz for 2-4 h per day over 3 days, which reduces EPSP's by over 50%. Experiments indicate that BAPTA-AM produces no significant change in EPSP reduction in adapted neurons when compared to controls. These results do not support the hypothesis that increased daily activity alters rapid intrinsic calcium buffers, that are able to reduce transmitter output in the same manner as BAPTA.