Effects of Acetyl-L-carnitine on neural transmission (Lombardo et al 2004)

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Acetyl-L-carnitine is known to improve many aspects of the neural activity even if its exact role in neurotransmission is still unknown. This study investigates the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in T segmental sensory neurons of the leech Hirudo medicinalis. These neurons are involved in some forms of neural plasticity associated with learning processes. Their physiological firing is accompanied by a large afterhyperpolarization that is mainly due to the Na+/K+ ATPase activity and partially to a Ca2+-dependent K+ current. A clear-cut hyperpolarization and a significant increase of the afterhyperpolarization have been recorded in T neurons of leeches injected with 2 mM acetyl-L-carnitine some days before. Acute treatments of 50 mM acetyl-L-carnitine induced similar effects in T cells of naive animals. Moreover, in these cells, widely arborized, the afterhyperpolarization seems to play an important role in determining the action potential transmission at neuritic bifurcations. A computational model of a T cell has been previously developed considering detailed data for geometry and the modulation of the pump current. Herein, we showed that to a larger afterhyperpolarization, due to the acetyl-L-carnitine-induced effects, corresponds a decrement in the number of action potentials reaching synaptic terminals.
1 . Lombardo P, Scuri R, Cataldo E, Calvani M, Nicolai R, Mosconi L, Brunelli M (2004) Acetyl-l-carnitine induces a sustained potentiation of the afterhyperpolarization. Neuroscience 128:293-303 [PubMed]
Model Information (Click on a link to find other models with that property)
Model Type: Neuron or other electrically excitable cell; Electrogenic pump;
Brain Region(s)/Organism:
Cell Type(s): Leech T segmental sensory neuron;
Channel(s): I L high threshold; I K,Ca; I Sodium; I Potassium; Na/K pump;
Gap Junctions: Gap junctions;
Simulation Environment: SNNAP;
Model Concept(s): Activity Patterns; Axonal Action Potentials; Action Potentials; Invertebrate; Sodium pump;
Search NeuronDB for information about:  I L high threshold; I K,Ca; I Sodium; I Potassium; Na/K pump;
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