Author(s): Kushmerick C, RomanoSilva MA, Gomez MV, Prado MA
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Abstract The SN56 cell line, a fusion of septal neurons and neuroblastoma cells, has been used as a model for central cholinergic neurons. These cells show increased expression of cholinergic neurochemical features upon differentiation, but little is known about how differentiation affects their electrophysiological properties. We examined the changes in Ca(2+) channel expression that occur as these cells undergo morphological differentiation in response to serum withdrawal and exposure to dibutyryl-cAMP. Undifferentiated cells expressed a T-type current with biophysical and pharmacological properties similar, although not identical, to those reported for the current generated by the alpha(1H) (CaV3.2) Ca(2+) channel subunit. Differentiated cells expressed, in addition to this T-type current, high voltage activated currents which were inhibited 38\% by the L-type channel antagonist nifedipine (5 microM), 37\% by the N-type channel antagonist omega-conotoxin-GVIA (1 microM), and 15\% by the P/Q-type channel antagonist omega-agatoxin-IVA (200 nM). Current resistant to these inhibitors accounted for 15\% of the high voltage activated current in differentiated SN56 cells. Our data demonstrate that differentiation increases the expression of neuronal type voltage gated Ca(2+) channels in this cell line, and that the channels expressed are comparable to those reported for native basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. This cell line should thus provide a useful model system to study the relationship between calcium currents and cholinergic function and dysfunction.
This article was published in Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Cell Signaling