Co-localized GABA and somatostatin use different ionic mechanisms to hyperpolarize target neurons in the lamprey spinal cord. Academic Article uri icon


  • gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and somatostatin are co-localized in cells close to the central canal in the lamprey. These cells project to the lateral margin of the spinal cord where they form a GABA and somatostatin containing plexus. Stretch receptor neurons (edge cells) are situated along the lateral margin of the spinal cord and their dendrites extend into the GABA and somatostatin containing plexus. To investigate whether GABA and/or somatostatin exert an affect on edge cells, these putative transmitters were applied from extracellular pipettes onto edge cells during intracellular recordings. Both GABA and somatostatin hyperpolarized the edge cells but through different ionic mechanisms. GABA activated a chloride current while somatostatin activated a current most likely carried by potassium which, however, could not be blocked by any of the conventional potassium blockers.

publication date

  • December 16, 1991