Neurotensin selectively facilitates glutamatergic transmission in globus pallidus

L. Chen*, Kin Lam YUNG, W. H. Yung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The tridecapeptide neurotensin has been demonstrated to modulate neurotransmission in a number of brain regions. There is evidence that neurotensin receptors exist in globus pallidus presynaptically and postsynaptically. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to investigate the modulatory effects of neurotensin on glutamate and GABA transmission in this basal ganglia nucleus in rats. Neurotensin at 1 μM significantly increased the frequency of glutamate receptor-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. In contrast, neurotensin had no effect on GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The presynaptic facilitation of neurotensin on glutamatergic transmission could be mimicked by the C-terminal fragment, neurotensin (8-13), but not by the N-terminal fragment, neurotensin (1-8). The selective neurotensin type-1 receptor antagonist, SR48692 {2-[(1-(7-chloro-4-quinolinyl)-5-2(2,6-dimethoxyphenyl)pyrazol-3-yl)carbonylamino]-tricyclo( acid}, blocked this facilitatory effect of neurotensin, and which itself had no effect on miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. The specific phospholipase C inhibitor, U73122 {1-[6-[[17β-3-methoyyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl]amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione}, significantly inhibit neurotensin-induced facilitation on glutamate release. Taken together with the reported postsynaptic depolarization of neurotensin in globus pallidus, it is suggested that neurotensin excites the globus pallidus neurons by multiple mechanisms which may provide a rationale for further investigations into its involvement in motor disorders originating from the basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1871-1878
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • globus pallidus
  • neurotensin
  • postsynaptic currents


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