Behavior of VRG neurons during the atonia of REM sleep induced by pontine carbachol in decerebrate cats.
ABSTRACT The microinjection of carbachol into the pons of acute decerebrate cats elicits a REM sleep-like atonia and a profound suppression of respiratory motoneuronal activity (J. Appl. Physiol., 69 (1990) 2280-2289). To assess whether this suppression is mediated by medullary neurons that provide respiratory drive to motoneurons of the respiratory pump muscles (diaphragm and intercostals), we studied the effect of pontine carbachol on the activity of neurons of the ventral respiratory group (VRG) in decerebrate, vagotomized, paralyzed and artificially ventilated cats. VRG neurons were recorded extracellularly along with the activity of phrenic and intercostal (external and internal) nerves. Both inspiratory (I) and expiratory (E) VRG neurons had incrementing, ramp-like bursts of activity during their firing periods and were not vagal motoneurons. Carbachol produced a depression of the peak firing rate in most (42/57) neurons studied. However, five cells showed no change and ten had an increase in activity in spite of consistent depression at the motoneuronal level. For the total population of cells (34 I and 23 E), the peak firing was reduced to 88.5% +/- 16.3 (S.D.) of control. The simultaneously recorded phrenic activity was reduced to 77.9% +/- 11.5, while inspiratory intercostal activity fell to 63.4% +/- 21.6 and expiratory to 23.2% +/- 21.2 of control. The carbachol-induced changes in peak firing of both I and E cells were quantitatively similar, and positively correlated to changes in peak phrenic activity. Analysis of this correlation suggested that phrenic and intercostal activities will be depressed to some degree by carbachol even when the average VRG cell activity remains unchanged. In addition, our data show that VRG cells may receive a combination of inhibitory and excitatory inputs during the carbachol-induced depression of respiratory motoneurons. Thus, although some disfacilitation from VRG cells may occur, there must be additional inhibitory or disfacilitatory pathways that mediate the decrease in activity of both phrenic and intercostal motoneurons that accompanies the REM sleep-like atonia.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To understand the role of cholinoceptive, medial pontine reticular formation (mPRF) neurons in the control of upper airway, pharyngolaryngeal reflexes, we measured activities of intrinsic laryngeal muscles (posterior cricoarytenoid, PCA; thyroarytenoid, TA), diaphragm (DIA), genioglossus (GG) and a neck muscle (trapezius) in unanesthetized, decerebrated, spontaneously breathing cats with and without mPRF carbachol injections. The ethimoidal nerve was electrically stimulated to evoke sneezing, and the superior laryngeal nerve to evoke the laryngeal reflex, swallowing, and coughing. Carbachol reduced the amplitudes of the spontaneous electromyographic activities in the neck, TA, PCA, GG, and DIA to 7%, 30%, 54%, 45% and 71% of control, respectively, reduced the respiratory rate to 53% without changes in expiratory CO(2) concentration; the magnitude of the laryngeal reflex in the TA muscle to 56%; increased its latency by 13%; and reduced the probability of stimulus-induced sneezing, swallowing, and coughing to less than 40%. These changes lasted more than 1h. These data demonstrate that important upper airway reflexes are suppressed by increasing cholinergic neurotransmission in the mPRF. Because acetylcholine release in the mPRF changes in accordance with sleep-wake cycles, the present findings are relevant to the control of upper airway reflexes during various vigilance states.Neuroscience Research 02/2010; 67(1):40-50. · 2.20 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The inspiratory drive to hypoglossal (XII) motoneurons originates in the caudal medullary intermediate reticular (IRt) region. This drive is mainly glutamatergic, but little is known about the neurochemical features of IRt XII premotor neurons. Prompted by the evidence that XII motoneuronal activity is controlled by both muscarinic (M) and nicotinic cholinergic inputs and that the IRt region contains cells that express choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), a marker of cholinergic neurons, we investigated whether some IRt XII premotor neurons are cholinergic. In seven rats, we applied single-cell reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to acutely dissociated IRt neurons retrogradely labeled from the XII nucleus. We found that over half (21/37) of such neurons expressed mRNA for ChAT and one-third (13/37) also had M2 receptor mRNA. In contrast, among the IRt neurons not retrogradely labeled, only 4 of 29 expressed ChAT mRNA (P < 0.0008) and only 3 of 29 expressed M2 receptor mRNA (P < 0.04). The distributions of other cholinergic receptor mRNAs (M1, M3, M4, M5, and nicotinic alpha4-subunit) did not differ between IRt XII premotor neurons and unlabeled IRt neurons. In an additional three rats with retrograde tracers injected into the XII nucleus and ChAT immunohistochemistry, 5-11% of IRt XII premotor neurons located at, and caudal to, the area postrema were ChAT positive, and 27-48% of ChAT-positive caudal IRt neurons were retrogradely labeled from the XII nucleus. Thus the pre- and postsynaptic cholinergic effects previously described in XII motoneurons may originate, at least in part, in medullary IRt neurons.Journal of Applied Physiology 09/2008; 105(5):1576-84. · 3.48 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) is generated in the brainstem by a distributed network of neurochemically distinct neurons. In the pons, the main subtypes are cholinergic and glutamatergic REMS-on cells and aminergic REMS-off cells. Pontine REMS-on cells send axons to the ventrolateral medulla (VLM), but little is known about REMS-related activity of VLM cells. In urethane-anesthetized rats, dorsomedial pontine injections of carbachol trigger REMS-like episodes that include cortical and hippocampal activation and suppression of motoneuronal activity; the episodes last 4-8 min and can be elicited repeatedly. We used this model to determine whether VLM catecholaminergic cells are silenced during REMS, as is typical of most aminergic neurons studied to date, and to investigate other REMS-related cells in this region. In 18 anesthetized, paralyzed and artificially ventilated rats, we obtained extracellular recordings from VLM cells when REMS-like episodes were elicited by pontine carbachol injections (10 mM, 10 nl). One major group were the cells that were activated during the episodes (n = 10). Their baseline firing rate of 3.7±2.1 (SD) Hz increased to 9.7±2.1 Hz. Most were found in the adrenergic C1 region and at sites located less than 50 µm from dopamine β-hydroxylase-positive (DBH(+)) neurons. Another major group were the silenced or suppressed cells (n = 35). Most were localized in the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN) and distantly from any DBH(+) cells. Their baseline firing rates were 6.8±4.4 Hz and 15.8±7.1 Hz, respectively, with the activity of the latter reduced to 7.4±3.8 Hz. We conclude that, in contrast to the pontine noradrenergic cells that are silenced during REMS, medullary adrenergic C1 neurons, many of which drive the sympathetic output, are activated. Our data also show that afferent input transmitted to the cerebellum through the LRN is attenuated during REMS. This may distort the spatial representation of body position during REMS.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e62410. · 3.73 Impact Factor