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: 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 07/2013; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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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). · 7.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Stimulation of cardiopulmonary receptors with phenylbiguanide (PBG) elicits depressor cardiovascular reflex responses, including decreases in blood pressure and heart rate mediated in part by the brain stem parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NAmb). The present study examined NAmb neurotransmitter mechanisms underlying the influence of electroacupuncture (EA) on the PBG-induced hypotension and bradycardia. We hypothesized that somatic stimulation during EA modulates PBG responses through opioid and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) modulation in the NAmb. Anesthetized and ventilated cats were studied during repeated stimulation with PBG or cardiac vagal afferents while low-frequency EA (2 Hz) was applied at P5-6 acupoints overlying the median nerve for 30 min and NAmb neuronal activity, heart rate, and blood pressure were recorded. Microinjection of kainic acid into the NAmb attenuated the PBG-induced bradycardia from -60 ± 11 to -36 ± 11 beats/min. Likewise, EA reduced the PBG-induced depressor and bradycardia reflex by 52 and 61%, respectively. Cardiac vagal afferent evoked preganglionic cellular activity in the NAmb was reduced by EA for about 60 min. Blockade of opioid or GABA(A) receptors using naloxone and gabazine reversed the EA-related modulation of the evoked cardiac vagal activity by 73 and 53%, respectively. Similarly, naloxone and gabazine reversed EA modulation of the negative chronotropic responses from -11 ± 5 to -23 ± 6 and -13 ± 4 to -24 ± 3 beats/min, respectively. Thus EA at P5-6 decreases PBG evoked hypotension and bradycardia as well as the NAmb PBG-sensitive preganglionic cardiac vagal outflow through opioid and GABA neurotransmitter systems.AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 12/2011; 302(7):R833-44. · 3.28 Impact Factor