Currents caused by the spontaneous release of quanta of acetylcholine onto chromaffin cells in guinea-pig adrenal medulla

Mollie E. Holman, Mary A. Tonta, Harold A. Coleman, Helena C. Parkington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane potentials were recorded from chromaffin cells in isolated bisected adrenal glands from guinea-pigs. Spontaneous excitatory synaptic potentials (SESPs) were recorded whose frequency was increased following brief (up to 10 s) periods of presynaptic nerve stimulation at 10-30 Hz. The single electrode voltage-clamp method was used to record the currents underlying all but the largest SESPs. Spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents (SESCs) decayed according to a single exponential with a time constant of about 8 ms at 30°C. Thus the neuronal nicotinic receptor-channels giving rise to SESCs in chromaffin cells are probably very similar to those that are opened by quanta of acetylcholine in sympathetic ganglion cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 1995


  • Guinea-pig chromaffin cells
  • Neuronal nicotinic receptors
  • Synaptic transmission

Cite this