Noradrenergic depression of neuronal excitability in the entorhinal cortex via activation of TREK-2 K+ channels.
ABSTRACT The entorhinal cortex is closely associated with the consolidation and recall of memories, Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia, and temporal lobe epilepsy. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in these physiological functions and neurological diseases. Whereas the entorhinal cortex receives profuse noradrenergic innervations from the locus coeruleus of the pons and expresses high densities of adrenergic receptors, the function of norepinephrine in the entorhinal cortex is still elusive. Accordingly, we examined the effects of norepinephrine on neuronal excitability in the entorhinal cortex and explored the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Application of norepinephrine-generated hyperpolarization and decreased the excitability of the neurons in the superficial layers with no effects on neuronal excitability in the deep layers of the entorhinal cortex. Norepinephrine-induced hyperpolarization was mediated by alpha(2A) adrenergic receptors and required the functions of Galpha(i) proteins, adenylyl cyclase, and protein kinase A. Norepinephrine-mediated depression on neuronal excitability was mediated by activation of TREK-2, a type of two-pore domain K(+) channel, and mutation of the protein kinase A phosphorylation site on TREK-2 channels annulled the effects of norepinephrine. Our results indicate a novel action mode in which norepinephrine depresses neuronal excitability in the entorhinal cortex by disinhibiting protein kinase A-mediated tonic inhibition of TREK-2 channels.
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ABSTRACT: Whereas corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) has been considered as the most potent epileptogenic neuropeptide in the brain, its action site and underlying mechanisms in epilepsy have not been determined. Here, we found that the entorhinal cortex (EC) expresses high level of CRF and CRF2 receptors without expression of CRF1 receptors. Bath application of CRF concentration-dependently increased the frequency of picrotoxin (PTX)-induced epileptiform activity recorded from layer III of the EC in entorhinal slices although CRF alone did not elicit epileptiform activity. CRF facilitated the induction of epileptiform activity in the presence of subthreshold concentration of PTX which normally would not elicit epileptiform activity. Bath application of the inhibitor for CRF-binding proteins, CRF6-33, also increased the frequency of PTX-induced epileptiform activity suggesting that endogenously released CRF is involved in epileptogenesis. CRF-induced facilitation of epileptiform activity was mediated via CRF2 receptors because pharmacological antagonism and knockout of CRF2 receptors blocked the facilitatory effects of CRF on epileptiform activity. Application of the adenylyl cyclase (AC) inhibitors blocked CRF-induced facilitation of epileptiform activity and elevation of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) level by application of the AC activators or phosphodiesterase inhibitor increased the frequency of PTX-induced epileptiform activity, demonstrating that CRF-induced increases in epileptiform activity are mediated by an increase in intracellular cAMP. However, application of selective protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitors reduced, not completely blocked CRF-induced enhancement of epileptiform activity suggesting that PKA is only partially required. Our results provide a novel cellular and molecular mechanism whereby CRF modulates epilepsy.PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88109. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bombesin and the bombesin-like peptides including neuromedin B (NMB) and gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) are important neuromodulators in the brain. We studied their effects on GABAergic transmission and epileptiform activity in the entorhinal cortex (EC). Bath application of bombesin concentration-dependently increased both the frequency and amplitude of sIPSCs recorded from the principal neurons in the EC. Application of NMB and GRP exerted the same effects as bombesin. Bombesin had no effects on mIPSCs recorded in the presence of TTX but slightly depressed the evoked IPSCs. Omission of extracellular Ca(2+) or inclusion of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel blockers, Cd(2+) and Ni(2+) , blocked bombesin-induced increases in sIPSCs suggesting that bombesin increases GABA release via facilitating extracellular Ca(2+) influx. Bombesin induced membrane depolarization and slightly increased the input resistance of GABAergic interneurons recorded from layer III of the EC. The action potential firing frequency of the interneurons was also increased by bombesin. Bombesin-mediated depolarization of interneurons was unlikely to be mediated by the opening of a cationic conductance but due to the inhibition of inward rectifier K(+) channels. Bath application of bombesin, NMB and GRP depressed the frequency of the epileptiform activity elicited by deprivation of Mg(2+) from the extracellular solution suggesting that bombesin and the bombesin-like peptides have antiepileptic effects in the brain. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Hippocampus 08/2013; · 4.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neurotensin (NT) is a tridecapeptide distributed in the CNS, including the entorhinal cortex (EC), a structure that is crucial for learning and memory and undergoes the earliest pathological alterations in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Whereas NT has been implicated in modulating cognition, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which NT modifies cognitive processes and the potential therapeutic roles of NT in AD have not been determined. Here we examined the effects of NT on neuronal excitability and spatial learning in the EC, which expresses high density of NT receptors. Brief application of NT induced persistent increases in action potential firing frequency, which could last for at least 1 h. NT-induced facilitation of neuronal excitability was mediated by downregulation of TREK-2 K(+) channels and required the functions of NTS1, phospholipase C, and protein kinase C. Microinjection of NT or NTS1 agonist, PD149163, into the EC increased spatial learning as assessed by the Barnes Maze Test. Activation of NTS1 receptors also induced persistent increases in action potential firing frequency and significantly improved the memory status in APP/PS1 mice, an animal model of AD. Our study identifies a cellular substrate underlying learning and memory and suggests that NTS1 agonists may exert beneficial actions in an animal model of AD.Journal of Neuroscience 05/2014; 34(20):7027-42. · 6.75 Impact Factor