A GABAergic inhibitory microcircuit controlling cholinergic outflow to the airways
ABSTRACT GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter that participates in the regulation of cholinergic outflow to the airways. We have tested the hypothesis that a monosynaptic GABAergic circuit modulates the output of airway-related vagal preganglionic neurons (AVPNs) in the rostral nucleus ambiguus by using a dual-labeling electron microscopic method combining immunocytochemistry for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) with retrograde tracing from the trachea. We also determined the effects of blockade of GABAA receptors on airway smooth muscle tone. The results showed that retrogradely labeled AVPNs received a significant GAD-immunoreactive (GAD-IR) terminal input. Out of a pooled total of 3,161 synaptic contacts with retrogradely labeled somatic and dendritic profiles, 20.2% were GAD-IR. GAD-IR terminals formed significantly more axosomatic synapses than axodendritic synapses (P < 0.02). A dense population of GABAergic synaptic contacts on AVPNs provides a morphological basis for potent physiological effects of GABA on the excitability of AVPNs. GAD-IR terminals formed exclusively symmetric synaptic specializations. GAD-IR terminals were significantly larger (P < 0.05) in both length and width than unlabeled terminals synapsing on AVPNs. Therefore, the structural characteristics of certain nerve terminals may be closely correlated with their function. Pharmacological blockade of GABAA receptors within the rostral nucleus ambiguus increased activity of putative AVPNs and airway smooth muscle tone. We conclude that a tonically active monosynaptic GABAergic circuit utilizing symmetric synapses regulates the discharge of AVPNs.
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ABSTRACT: Behavioral and functional studies in humans suggest that attention plays a key role in activating the primary olfactory cortex through an unknown circuit mechanism. We report that a novel pathway from the anterior cingulate cortex, an area which has a key role in attention, projects directly to the primary olfactory cortex in rhesus monkeys, innervating mostly the anterior olfactory nucleus. Axons from the anterior cingulate cortex formed synapses mostly with spines of putative excitatory pyramidal neurons and with a small proportion of a neurochemical class of inhibitory neurons that are thought to have disinhibitory effect on excitatory neurons. This novel pathway from the anterior cingulate is poised to exert a powerful excitatory effect on the anterior olfactory nucleus, which is a critical hub for odorant processing via extensive bilateral connections with primary olfactory cortices and the olfactory bulb. Acting on the anterior olfactory nucleus, the anterior cingulate may activate the entire primary olfactory cortex to mediate the process of rapid attention to olfactory stimuli.Brain Structure and Function 06/2013; 219(5). DOI:10.1007/s00429-013-0598-3 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate how prefrontal cortices impinge on medial temporal cortices we labeled pathways from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in rhesus monkeys to compare their relationship with excitatory and inhibitory systems in rhinal cortices. The ACC pathway terminated mostly in areas 28 and 35 with a high proportion of large terminals, whereas the pOFC pathway terminated mostly through small terminals in area 36 and sparsely in areas 28 and 35. Both pathways terminated in all layers. Simultaneous labeling of pathways and distinct neurochemical classes of inhibitory neurons, followed by analyses of appositions of presynaptic and postsynaptic fluorescent signal, or synapses, showed overall predominant association with spines of putative excitatory neurons, but also significant interactions with presumed inhibitory neurons labeled for calretinin, calbindin or parvalbumin. In the upper layers of areas 28 and 35 the ACC pathway was associated with dendrites of neurons labeled with calretinin, which are thought to disinhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting facilitated hippocampal access. In contrast, in area 36 pOFC axons were associated with dendrites of calbindin neurons, which are poised to reduce noise and enhance signal. In the deep layers, both pathways innervated mostly dendrites of parvalbumin neurons, which strongly inhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting gating of hippocampal output to other cortices. These findings suggest that the ACC, associated with attention and context, and the pOFC, associated with emotional valuation, have distinct contributions to memory in rhinal cortices, in processes that are disrupted in psychiatric diseases. J. Comp. Neurol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.The Journal of Comparative Neurology 12/2013; 521(18). DOI:10.1002/cne.23413 · 3.51 Impact Factor
IEEE transactions on neural networks and learning systems 01/2007; 18:955-959. · 4.37 Impact Factor