[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is known that enrichment of glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) plays an important role in central cardiovascular regulation. Our previous study demonstrated that nicotine decreased blood pressure and heart rate in the NTS probably acting via the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)-Ca²⁺-calmodulin-eNOS-NO signaling pathway. The possible relationship between glutamate and nicotine in the NTS for cardiovascular regulation is poorly understood. This study investigated the involvement of glutamate receptors in the cardiovascular effects of nicotine in the NTS. Nicotine (a non-selective nAChRs agonist), MK801 (a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist), APV (a competitive NMDA receptor antagonist), or NBQX (a selective AMPA receptor antagonist) was microinjected into the NTS of anesthetized Wistar-Kyoto rats. Microinjection of nicotine (1.5 pmol) into the NTS produced decreases in blood pressure and heart rate. The hypotensive and bradycardic effects of nicotine were abolished by prior administration of MK801 (1 nmol) and APV (10 nmol), but was completely restored after 60 min of recovery. In contrast, prior administration of NBQX (10 pmol) into the NTS did not alter the cardiovascular effects of nicotine. The nitrate (served as total NO) production in response to nicotine microinjection into the NTS was suppressed by prior administration of APV. These results suggest that the hypotensive and bradycardic effects of nicotine in the NTS might be mediated through NMDA receptors, and that the nAChRs-NMDA receptor-NO pathway could be involved.
The Chinese journal of physiology 10/2012; 55(5):337-45. · 0.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue virus (DENV) infection is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease threatening human health around the world. Type I interferon (IFN) and cytokine production are crucial in the innate immune system. We previously reported that DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) induced low levels of interferon regulatory factor 3 and NF-κB activation, thus leading to reduced production of IFN-β in the early phase of infection. Here, we determined whether DENV infection not only hampers type I IFN activation but also cytokine production triggered by Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling.
We used quantitative RT-PCR and found that only low levels of IFN-β and inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 10 (IL-10), IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) mRNA were detected in DENV-2-infected bone-marrow-derived dendritic cells. Furthermore, DENV-2 infection repressed cytokine production triggered by TLR signaling. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying this suppression event, we measured NF-κB activation by p65 nuclear translocation and luciferase reporter assay and found that NF-κB activation triggered by TLR ligands was blocked by DENV-2 infection. As well, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity was suppressed by DENV-2 infection.
To downregulate the host innate immunity, DENV-2 by itself is a weak inducer of type I IFN and cytokines, furthermore DENV-2 can also block the TLR-triggered ERK-NF-κB activation and cytokine production.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e41635. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent evidence has suggested that nicotine decreases blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS), indicating that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in BP control in the NTS. However, the signalling mechanisms involved in nAChR-mediated depressor effects in the NTS are unclear. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate these signalling mechanisms.
Depressor responses to nicotine microinjected into the NTS of Wistar-Kyoto rats were elicited in the absence and presence of an antagonist of α7 nAChR, the calcium chelator ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid, a calmodulin-specific inhibitor, nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) inhibitor, endothelial NOS (eNOS)-selective inhibitor or neuronal NOS (nNOS)-specific inhibitor.
Microinjection of nicotine into the NTS produced a dose-dependent decrease in BP and HR, and increased nitrate levels. This depressor effect of nicotine was attenuated after pretreatment with a nAChR antagonist or blockers of the calmodulin-eNOS pathway. In contrast, N5-(1-Imino-3-butenyl)-L-ornithine (vinyl-L-NIO), nNOS-specific inhibitor, did not diminish these nicotine-mediated effects. Calmodulin was found to bind eNOS after nicotine injection into NTS. However, nicotine did not affect the eNOS phosphorylation level or eNOS upstream extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2 and Akt phosphorylation levels. Furthermore, pretreatment with an ERK1/2 or Akt inhibitor did not attenuate nicotine-induced depressor effects in the NTS.
These results suggest that the nAChR-Ca(2+) -calmodulin-eNOS-NO signalling pathway, but not nNOS, plays a significant role in central BP regulation, and neither the ERK1/2 nor Akt signalling pathway are significantly involved in the activation of eNOS by nAChRs in the NTS.
British Journal of Pharmacology 07/2011; 163(6):1203-13. · 5.07 Impact Factor