The Development of ACH- and GABA-Activated Currents in Normal and Target-Deprived Embryonic Chick Ciliary Ganglia

Document Type


Publication Date



We have examined the expression of functional ACh and GABA receptors on embryonic chick ciliary ganglion neurons between Stages (St) 29 and 44 (Embryonic Day 6 to Embryonic Day 18). Whole-cell currents activated by ACh or GABA were measured in neurons 3–6 hr after dissociation to estimate the level of functional receptors in vivo. The mean peak IACh increased sevenfold between St 29 (321 pA) and St 44 (2345 pA) in two steps, separated by a plateau between St 35 and St 38 (E9 to E12). Cell size, estimated from measurements of membrane capacitance, increased only threefold over the same interval. Moreover, IACh and cell size were not well correlated at any stage examined. IGABA increased twofold between St 29 and St 38; the change was gradual and without any indication of two phases. The increase in IACh during development was not dependent on innervation of target cells within the eye. We removed the primordial eye between St 11 and St 13 (E2) and allowed the embryos to mature to various stages. Despite a small (20–50%) reduction in IACh at every stage examined, IACh still increased dramatically (about 10-fold) between St 29 and St 44 in target-deprived neurons. IACh was not uniquely affected by early target removal; IGABA and capacitance were also slightly reduced in target-deprived neurons.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users