Multi-walled carbon nanotube inhibits CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat's hippocampal slices

Ting Chen, Jiajia Yang, Hui Zhang, Guogang Ren, Zhuo Yang, Tao Zhang

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the study was to investigate the neurotoxic effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat's hippocampal slices using whole-cell patch clamp technique. The amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) were accessed on the hippocampal pyramidal neurons. The alterations of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in CA3-CA1 were examined by measuring both the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic current (eEPSC) and paired-pulse ratio (PPR). The data showed that the amplitude of either spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) or miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) was significantly inhibited by 1. μg/mL MWCNTs. However, it was found that there was a trend of different change on the frequency index. When 1. μg/mL MWCNTs was applied, there were a decreased frequency of mEPSC and an increased frequency of sEPSC, which might be due to the effect of action potential. Furthermore, the amplitudes of eEPSC at CA3-CA1 synapses were remarkably decreased. And the mean amplitude of AMPAR-mediated eEPSC was significantly reduced as well. Meanwhile, a majority of PPRs data were greater than one. There were no significant differences of PPRs between control and MWCNTs states, but an increased trend of paired-pulse facilitation was found. These results suggested that MWCNT markedly inhibited hippocampal CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission in vitro, which provided new insights into the MWCNT toxicology on CNS at cellular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2014


  • Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs)
  • Glutamatergic synaptic transmission
  • Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF)
  • Rat's hippocampal slices


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