Pharmacological characterization and differentiation of non-cholinergic nucleus basalis neurons in vitro

Patrice Fort, Asaid Khateb, Mauro Serafin, Michel Mühlethaler, Barbara E. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


USING intracellular recordings in guinea pig brain slices, the pharmacology of electrophysiologically identified and immunohistochemically confirmed non-cholinergic nucleus basalis neurons was studied to determine their response to the major neurotransmitters of the subcortical afferents to this region. The cells were differentiated into three types: Type A cells (~44%) were depolarized by noradrenaline (NA) and muscarine, Type B cells (~23%) were depolarized by NA but hyperpolarized by muscarine, and Type C cells (~15%) were hyperpolarized by both agonists. These cell types were also differentially responsive to serotonin (hyperpolarizing B, C) and histamine (depolarizing A, B). Accordingly, the non-cholinergic neurons share certain discharge properties but appear nonetheless to comprise distinct types which respond differentially to the major modulatory neurotransmitters and thus play potentially different roles in cortical modulation across the sleep-wake cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine
  • Basal forebrain
  • Cortex
  • Histamine
  • Muscarine
  • Noradrenaline
  • Serotonin
  • Sleep-wake states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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