Two types of intrinsic muscarinic responses in Xenopus oocytes - I. Differences in latencies and 45Ca efflux kinetics

Monica Lupu-Meiri, Hagit Shapira, Noa Matus-Leibovitch, Yoram Oron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Oocytes of 40% of Xenopus laevis frogs respond to acetylcholine (ACh). Oocytes of the majority of responders exhibit the common two-component depolarizing muscarinic response (mean amplitude of the rapid component, 54 nA). Oocytes of approximately 10% of the responders ("variant" donors) exhibit a muscarinic response characterized by a very large transient, rapid current (mean amplitude 1242 nA, reversal potential -33 mV). Responses in oocytes of variant donors exhibit further qualitative differences: pronounced desensitization (absent in oocytes of common donors), characteristic prolonged latency (5.4 vs 0.9 s in oocytes of common donors) and marked inhibition of the response by activators of protein kinase C. Rapid responses in oocytes of variant donors are usually increased by treatment with collagenase, which, in common oocytes, often results in a complete loss of the response that correlates with the loss of muscarinic ligand binding. The number of muscarinic receptors was similar in oocytes of both types of donors (2.2 vs 3.0 fmol/oocyte). Also, the responses of oocytes of variant donors to microinjections of CaCl2 or inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate were similar to those found in cells of common donors. These findings imply that altered receptor number, calcium stores and/or chloride channel density are not responsible for the variant responses. However, ACh caused an sixteen-fold greater efflux of 45Ca in oocytes of variant donors (35 vs 2.2% of total label in oocytes of common donors). Hence, the characteristics of the variant response may be related to a more efficient coupling between receptor stimulation and the mobilization of cellular calcium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • Common donors
  • Muscarinic receptors
  • Variant donors
  • Xenopus laevis


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