We tested the characteristics of acetylcholine (ACh) release from cultured rat septal cells. The spontaneous release was inhibited by treatment with tetrodotoxin (TTX) and omega-conotoxin (GVIA), indicating that the release was elicited by synaptic activity. The release was also inhibited by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX), an alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptor blocker, in both the absence and presence of nerve growth factor (NGF), suggesting that endogenously released glutamate produced the ACh release by stimulating AMPA receptors. This is the first report of detection of the release of ACh by endogenous spontaneous synaptic activity conducted by glutamate AMPA receptor activation in cultured septal cells. This in vitro experimental system is useful for the study of cholinergic functions.
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