Short-term effects of prednisolone on neuromuscular transmission in normal rats and those with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.
Electrophysiological investigations of the effects of bath-applied prednisolone at the neuromuscular junction were performed in muscles from normal rats and rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). In muscles from both groups, prednisolone reversible and significantly depressed the amplitudes of minature end-plate potentials (MEPPs), end-plate potentials (EPPs) and indirectly elicited action potentials (APs) without affecting resting membrane potentials. Prednisolone also caused a significant reduction in EPP rise time to peak and half-decay time while markedly increasing MEPP frequency and AP rise time to peak and duration. These effects were shown to be dose-dependent. The percentage decrease in amplitude after prednisolone perfusion was similar for EPPs and MEPPs, indicating that the depressive effect of prednisolone at the junction is postsynaptic. In all of the parameters studied, the percentage effect of prednisolone was the same in EAMG and normal preparations. No stimulus-linked repetitive EPPs or APs were observed after prednisolone. It is concluded that prednisolone has a depressive effect on neuromuscular transmission, but that this occurs only at high concentrations of the drug which are not achieved during the treatment of myasthenia gravis.
Kim, YI; Goldner, MM; Sanders, DB
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