Dissociation of acetylcholine- and cyclic GMP-induced currents in Xenopu oocytes

Nathan Dascal*, Ilana Lotan, Yoram Lass

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Xenopus follicular oocytes, activation of muscarinic receptors evokes a slow potassium current (H-response); a similar current is evoked by intracellular injection of cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate, cGMP (Dascal et al. 1984). We have tested the hypothesis that cGMP may be the second messenger that mediates the opening of K channel by acetylcholine (ACh). ACh elevated the intracellular level of cGMP with a time course similar to that of the development of the muscarinic H-response; maximal increase in cGMP concentration above the control was about 0.2 pmole/oocyte. The amount of injected cGMP that produced a detectable K current ("threshold dose") varied between 0.5 and 3 pmole/oocyte. At low doses of cGMP, the slope of log dose-log response curve was about 2.5, suggesting involvement of a biochemical process with a positive cooperativity of at least 3. Higher doses of cGMP evoked, in addition to the outward current, an irregular, rapidly developing, long-lasting inward current, that never reached amplitudes comparable to those of ACh-evoked Cl currents. The K current elicited by cGMP was insensitive to elevation or depletion of external Ca. It was potentiated by isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX). ACh strongly inhibited the cGMP-evoked K current when applied at the plateau of the latter. 4-Phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) (1 μM) rapidly and completely inhibited the cGMP response. It is concluded, that most of the results presented in this report contradict the hyothesis that cGMP is the intracellular mediator of ACh-induced changes in membrane conductance in the oocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Aug 1987


  • Acetylcholine
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Potassium channels
  • Second messengers
  • Xenopus oocytes


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