Ca2+ and K+ currents regulate accommodation and firing frequency in guinea pig bronchial ganglion neurons

Allen C. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Intracellular microelectrode recordings were obtained from neurons located in adult guinea pig bronchial parasympathetic ganglia in situ to determine the calcium and potassium currents regulating repetitive action potential activity and firing rates by these neurons. Neurons in these ganglia respond to prolonged suprathreshold depolarizing current steps with either a burst of action potentials at the onset of the stimulus (accommodating or phasic neurons) or repetitive action potentials throughout the stimulus (non-accommodating or tonic neurons). Instantaneous and adapted firing rates during prolonged threshold and suprathreshold stimuli were lower in tonic than in phasic neurons, indicating a longer interspike interval between repetitive action potentials in tonic neurons. In tonic neurons, blockade of A-type current with 4-aminopyridine increased accommodation; 4- aminopyridine or apamin decreased the interspike interval in tonic neurons. Calcium-free buffer, cadmium ions, or ω-conotoxin GVIA also increased accommodation in tonic neurons but did not affect the interspike interval; nifedipine or verapamil did not affect the tonic firing pattern. Accommodation in phasic neurons could be decreased by a conditioning hyperpolarization step of the resting potential, which could be subsequently blocked by 4-aminopyridine or calcium-free buffer. Accommodation in phasic neurons could also be decreased by apamin or barium ions: the repetitive action potentials observed during these treatments could be reversed by cadmium ions or calcium-free buffer. These results indicate that tonic and phasic neurons in guinea pig bronchial parasympathetic ganglia have similar types of calcium currents, but potassium channels may ultimately regulate the accommodation pattern, the firing rate, and, consequently, the output from these neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2 19-2
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • ω-conotoxin GVIA
  • 4-aminopyridine
  • Apamin
  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Calcium channels
  • N- type channel
  • Parasympathetic
  • Phasic neurons
  • Potassium channels
  • Tonic neurons
  • Trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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