Monosynaptic projections from the nucleus tractus solitarii to C1 adrenergic neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla: Comparison with input from the caudal ventrolateral medulla
ABSTRACT The rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVL) contains reticulospinal adrenergic (C1) neurons that are thought to be sympathoexcitatory and that form the medullary efferent limb of the baroreceptor reflex pathway. The RVL receives direct projections from two important autonomic regions, the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVL) and the nucleus tractus solitarii with immunocytochemical identification of C1 adrenergic neurons in the RVL to compare the morphology of afferent input from these two autonomic regions into the RVL. NTS (n = 203) and CVL (n = 380) efferent terminals had similar morphology and vesicular content, but CVL efferent terminals were slightly larger than NTS efferent terminals. Overall, efferent terminals from either region were equally likely to contact adrenergic neurons in the RVL (21% for NTS, 25% for CVL). Although efferents from both regions formed both symmetric and asymmetric synapses, NTS efferent terminals were statistically more likely to form asymmetric synapses than CVL efferent terminals. CVL efferent terminals were more likely to contact adrenergic somata than were NTS efferents, which usually contacted dendrites. These findings 1) support the hypothesis that a portion of NTS efferents to the RVL may be involved in sympathoexcitatory, e.g., chemoreceptor, reflexes (via asymmetric synapses), whereas those from the CVL mediate sympathoinhibition (via symmetric synapses); and 2) provide an anatomical substrate for differential postsynaptic modulation of C1 neurons by projections from the NTS and CVL. With their more frequent somatic localization, CVL inhibitory inputs may be more influential than excitatory NTS inputs in determining the discharge of RVL neurons.
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ABSTRACT: Cannabinoids elicit complex hemodynamic responses in experimental animals that involve both peripheral and central sites. Centrally administered cannabinoids have been shown to predominantly cause pressor response. However, very little is known about the mechanism of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R)-centrally evoked pressor response. In this review, we provided an overview of the contemporary knowledge regarding the cannabinoids centrally elicited cardiovascular responses and the possible underlying signaling mechanisms. The current review focuses on the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) as the primary brainstem nucleus implicated in CB1R-evoked pressor response.Journal of Advanced Research 03/2014; 5(2):137–145. DOI:10.1016/j.jare.2013.03.008
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ABSTRACT: There is evidence that sympathoexcitatory and respiratory responses to chemoreflex activation involve ventrolateral medulla-projecting nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) neurons (NTS-VLM neurons) and also that ATP modulates this neurotransmission. Here, we evaluated whether or not astrocytes is the source of endogenous ATP modulating the synaptic transmission in NTS-VLM neurons. Synaptic activities of putative astrocytes or NTS-VLM neurons were recorded using whole cell patch clamp. Tractus solitarius (TS) stimulation induced TS-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (TS-eEPSCs) in NTS-VLM neurons as well in NTS putative astrocytes, which were also identified by previous labeling. Fluoracetate (FAC), an inhibitor of glial metabolism, reduced TS-eEPSCs amplitude (-85.6 ± 16 vs. -39 ± 7.1 pA, n = 12) and sEPSCs frequency (2.8 ± 0.5 vs. 1.8 ± 0.46 Hz, n = 10) in recorded NTS-VLM neurons, indicating a gliomodulation of glutamatergic currents. To verify the involvement of endogenous ATP a purinergic antagonist was used, which reduced the TS-eEPSCs amplitude (-207 ± 50 vs. -149 ± 50 pA, n = 6), the sEPSCs frequency (1.19 ± 0.2 vs. 0.62 ± 0.11 Hz, n = 6), and increased the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) values (∼20%) in NTS-VLM neurons. Simultaneous perfusion of Pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',5'-disulfonic acid (iso-PPADS) and FAC produced reduction in TS-eEPSCs similar to that observed with iso-PPADS or FAC alone, indicating that glial cells are the source of ATP released after TS stimulation. Extracellular ATP measurement showed that FAC reduced evoked and spontaneous ATP release. All together these data show that putative astrocytes are the source of endogenous ATP, which via activation of presynaptic P2X receptors, facilitates the evoked glutamate release and increases the synaptic transmission efficacy in the NTS-VLM neurons probably involved with the peripheral chemoreflex pathways.09/2013; 1(4):e00080. DOI:10.1002/phy2.80
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ABSTRACT: The nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS) of the brainstem receives sensory afferent inputs, processes that information, and sends projections to a variety of brain regions responsible for influencing autonomic and respiratory output. The nTS sends direct projections to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), an area important for cardiorespiratory reflexes and homeostasis. Since the net reflex effect of nTS processing ultimately depends on the properties of output neurons, we determined the characteristics of these RVLM-projecting nTS neurons using electrophysiological and immunohistochemical techniques. RVLM-projecting nTS neurons were identified by retrograde tracers. Patch clamp analysis in the horizontal brainstem nTS slice demonstrated that RVLM-projecting nTS cells exhibit constant latency solitary tract evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), suggesting they receive strong monosynaptic contacts from visceral afferents. Three distinct patterns of action potential firing, associated with different underlying potassium currents, were observed in RVLM-projecting cells. Following activation of the chemoreflex in conscious animals by 3 h of acute hypoxia, 11.2+/-1.9% of the RVLM-projecting nTS neurons were activated, as indicated by positive Fos-immunoreactivity. Very few RVLM-projecting nTS cells were catecholaminergic. Taken together, these data suggest that RVLM projecting nTS neurons receive strong monosynaptic inputs from sensory afferents and a subpopulation participates in the chemoreflex pathway.Neuroscience 02/2010; 167(2):510-27. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.02.012 · 3.33 Impact Factor