We have examined the effects of high concentrations of cholinergic agonists on currents through single acetylcholine receptor (AChR) channels on clonal BC3H1 cells. We find that raised concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh; above 300 microM) or carbamylcholine (Carb; above 1,000 microM) produce a voltage- and concentration-dependent reduction in the mean single-channel current. Raised concentrations of suberyldicholine (Sub; above 3 microM) produce a voltage- and concentration-dependent increase in the number of brief duration low-conductance interruptions of open-channel currents. These observations can be quantitatively described by a model in which agonist molecules enter and transiently occlude the ion-channel of the AChR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas