Simultaneous electrophysiology and confocal microscopy were used to investigate purinergic neurotransmission at single smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in mouse isolated vas deferens, and to explore the relationship between two high-resolution P2X-receptor-mediated measures of per pulse ATP release: transient peaks in the first time derivative of the rising phase of excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) recorded in single SMCs (‘discrete events’; DEs) and neuroeffector Ca2+ transients (NCTs) in the impaled SMCs. The study shows that discrete events represent neurotransmitter release onto the impaled cell. First, the median amplitude of the first derivative of the EJP was larger when there was a coincident NCT in the impaled cell, compared with instances when no coincident NCT occurred. Second, the time-to-peak amplitude of the first derivative was shorter if there was a coincident NCT in the impaled cell, compared with when no coincident NCT was observed within the field. Surprisingly, first derivative amplitude increased with the distance (of the corresponding NCT) from the microelectrode. The microelectrode did not locally inhibit the functional quantal size as there was no effect of distance on the normalized NCT amplitude. When the significant effect of distance (between the microelectrode and NCTs) on the first derivative amplitude was removed, there was no correlation between the unstandardized residual (of distance vs. first derivative amplitude) and NCT amplitude. The absence of a correlation between DE and NCT amplitudes suggests that the NCT amplitude is a poor measure of quantal size. The usefulness of NCTs hence lies primarily in locating neurotransmitter release and measuring changes in local release probability.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|