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Age-dependent contribution of P/Q- and R-type Ca2+ channels to neuromuscular transmission in lethargic mice.

Authors
  • Molina-Campos, Elizabeth
  • Xu, Youfen
  • Atchison, William D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Publisher
American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2015
Volume
352
Issue
2
Pages
395–404
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1124/jpet.114.216143
PMID: 25472955
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

β-Subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) regulate assembly and membrane localization of the pore-forming α1-subunit and strongly influence channel function. β4-Subunits normally coassociate with α1A-subunits which comprise P/Q-type (Cav2.1) VGCCs. These control acetylcholine (ACh) release at adult mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). The naturally occurring lethargic (lh) mutation of the β4-subunit in mice causes loss of the α1-binding site, possibly affecting P/Q-type channel expression or function, and thereby ACh release. End-plate potentials and miniature end-plate potentials were recorded at hemidiaphragm NMJs of 5-7-week and 3-5-month-old lh and wild-type (wt) mice. Sensitivity to antagonists of P/Q- [ω-agatoxin IVA (ω-Aga-IVA)], L- (nimodipine), N- (ω-conotoxin GVIA), and R-type [C192H274N52O60S7 (SNX-482)] VGCCs was compared in juvenile and adult lh and wt mice. Quantal content (m) of adult, but not juvenile, lh mice was reduced compared to wt. ω-Aga-IVA (~60%) and SNX-482 (~ 45%) significantly reduced m in adult lh mice. Only Aga-IVA affected wt adults. In juvenile lh mice, ω-Aga-IVA and SNX-482 decreased m by >75% and ~20%, respectively. Neither ω-conotoxin GVIA nor nimodipine affected ACh release in any group. Immunolabeling revealed α1E and α1A, β1, and β3 staining at adult lh, but not wt NMJs. Therefore, in lh mice, when the β-subunit that normally coassociates with α1A to form P/Q channels is missing, P/Q-type channels partner with other β-subunits. However, overall participation of P/Q-type channels is reduced and compensated for by R-type channels. R-type VGCC participation is age-dependent, but is less effective than P/Q-type at sustaining NMJ function.

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