1. The pedunculopontine tegmental (PPT) cholinergic nucleus and the locus coeruleus (LC) noradrenergic nucleus were electrically stimulated to investigate their effects on the recently described slow oscillation (approximately 0.3 Hz) of neocortical neurons. Intracellular recordings of slowly oscillating, regular-spiking and intrinsically bursting neurons from cortical association areas 5 and 7 (n = 140) were performed in anesthetized cats. 2. Pulse trains to the PPT nucleus produced the blockage of rhythmic (approximately 0.3 Hz) depolarizing-hyperpolarizing sequences in 79% of tested cortical neurons and transformed this slow cellular rhythm into tonic firing. The latency of the cortical cellular response to PPT stimulation was 1.2 +/- 0.5 (SE) s and its duration was 15.9 +/- 1.9 s. The PPT-elicited suppression of the slow cellular oscillation was accompanied by an activation of the electroencephalogram (EEG) having a similar time course. Fast Fourier transform analyses of EEG activities before and after PPT stimulation showed that the PPT-evoked changes consisted of decreased power of slow rhythms (0-8 Hz) and increased power of fast rhythms (24-33 Hz); these changes were statistically significant. 3. The blockage of the slow cellular oscillation was mainly achieved through the diminution or suppression of the long-lasting hyperpolarizations separating the rhythmic depolarizing envelopes. This effect was observed even when PPT pulse trains disrupted the oscillation without inducing overt depolarization and increased firing rate. The durations of the prolonged hyperpolarizations were measured during a 40-s window (20 s before and 20 s after the PPT pulse train) and were found to decrease from 1.5 +/- 0.2 to 0.7 +/- 0.1 s. The values of the product resulting from the duration (in seconds), the amplitude (in millivolts), and number of such hyperpolarizing events within 20-s periods were 51.5 +/- 5 and 5.1 +/- 1.9 before and after PPT stimulation, respectively. 4. The PPT effect was suppressed by systemic administration of a muscarinic antagonist, scopolamine, but not by mecamylamine, a nicotinic antagonist. 5. The PPT effect on cellular and EEG cortical slow oscillation survived, although its duration was reduced, in animals with kainate-induced lesions of thalamic nuclei projecting to areas 5 and 7 (n = 3) as well as in animals with similar excitotoxic lesions leading to extensive neuronal loss in nucleus basalis (n = 2). These data indicate that the PPT effect is transmitted to neocortex through either thalamic or basal forebrain relays.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
The surface electromyographic (EMG) signal from right and left trapezius muscles and the heart rate were recorded over 24 h in 27 healthy female subjects. The root-mean-square (RMS) value of the surface EMG signals and the heartbeat interval time series were calculated with a time resolution of 0.2 s. The EMG activity during sleep showed long periods with stable mean amplitude, modulated by rhythmic components in the frequency range 0.05-0.2 Hz. The ratio between the amplitude of the oscillatory components and the mean amplitude of the EMG signal was approximately constant over the range within which the phenomenon was observed, corresponding to a peak-to-peak oscillatory amplitude of approximately 10% of the mean amplitude. The duration of the periods with stable mean amplitude ranged from a few minutes to approximately 1 h, usually interrupted by a sudden change in the activity level or by cessation of the muscle activity. Right and left trapezius muscles presented the same pattern of FM. In supplementary experiments, rhythmic muscle activity pattern was also demonstrated in the upper extremity muscles of deltoid, biceps, and forearm flexor muscles. There was no apparent association between the rhythmic components in the muscle activity pattern and the heart rate variability. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the above-described pattern of EMG activity during sleep is documented. On reanalysis of earlier recorded trapezius motor unit firing pattern in experiments on awake subjects in a situation with mental stress, low-FM of firing with similar frequency content was detected. Possible sources of rhythmic excitation of trapezius motoneurons include slow-wave cortical oscillations represented in descending cortico-spinal pathways, and/or activation by monoaminergic pathways originating in the brain stem reticular formation. The analysis of muscle activity patterns may provide an important new tool to study neural mechanisms in human sleep.
Responses to broadband Gaussian white noise were recorded in auditory-nerve fibers of deeply anesthetized chinchillas and analyzed by computation of zeroth-, first-, and second-order Wiener kernels. The first-order kernels (similar to reverse correlations or "revcors") of fibers with characteristic frequency (CF) <2 kHz consisted of lightly damped transient oscillations with frequency equal to CF. Because of the decay of phase locking strength as a function of frequency, the signal-to-noise ratio of first-order kernels of fibers with CFs >2 kHz decreased with increasing CF at a rate of about -18 dB per octave. However, residual first-order kernels could be detected in fibers with CF as high as 12 kHz. Second-order kernels, 2-dimensional matrices, reveal prominent periodicity at the CF frequency, regardless of CF. Thus onset delays, frequency glides, and near-CF group delays could be estimated for auditory-nerve fibers innervating the entire length of the chinchilla cochlea.
Previously we demonstrated that sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR(1)) played a prominent, but not exclusive, role in enhancing the excitability of small-diameter sensory neurons, suggesting that other S1PRs can modulate neuronal excitability. To examine the potential role of S1PR(2) in regulating neuronal excitability we used the established selective antagonist of S1PR(2), JTE-013. Here we report that exposure to JTE-013 alone produced a significant increase in excitability in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in 70-80% of recorded neurons. Internal perfusion of sensory neurons with guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP-β-S) via the recording pipette inhibited the sensitization produced by JTE-013 as well as prostaglandin E(2). Pretreatment with pertussis toxin or the selective S1PR(1) antagonist W146 blocked the sensitization produced by JTE-013. These results indicate that JTE-013 might act as an agonist at other G protein-coupled receptors. In neurons that were sensitized by JTE-013, single-cell RT-PCR studies demonstrated that these neurons did not express the mRNA for S1PR(2). In behavioral studies, injection of JTE-013 into the rat's hindpaw produced a significant increase in the mechanical sensitivity in the ipsilateral, but not contralateral, paw. Injection of JTE-013 did not affect the withdrawal latency to thermal stimulation. Thus JTE-013 augments neuronal excitability independently of S1PR(2) by unknown mechanisms that may involve activation of other G protein-coupled receptors such as S1PR(1). Clearly, further studies are warranted to establish the causal nature of this increased sensitivity, and future studies of neuronal function using JTE-013 should be interpreted with caution.
1. The effect of intracellular application of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) from the patch pipette was analyzed in isolated rat olfactory neurons under whole-cell patch clamp. 2. Intracellular dialysis of 10 microM 1,4,5-IP3 in K(+)-internal solution induced a sustained depolarization of 35.8 +/- 10.5 (SD) mV (n = 16). The IP3-induced response was observed in 75% of the cells dialyzed with IP3 but not when 10 microM ruthenium red was also included in the pipette solution (4 cells). Lower concentrations (50-100 nM) of 2,4,5-IP3 induced similar responses to those produced by 1,4,5-IP3 in five of eight olfactory neurons. 3. Steady-state I-V relationships of IP3-gated currents with K(+)-internal solution were classified into two types: outwardly rectifying and N-shaped. In Cs(+)-internal solution outwardly rectifying and linear patterns were observed. 4. The IP3-induced currents were inhibited by external Cd2+ (1 mM). The reversal potentials of the Cd(2+)-inhibitable currents were -16.1 mV (n = 2) and -29.0 +/- 7.1 mV (n = 3) for the outwardly rectifying and N-shaped types, respectively, in K(+)-internal solution. The reversal potential was -5.9 +/- 6.8 mV (n = 5) in the Cs(+)-internal solution. 6. In contrast, the Ca(2+)-ionophore, ionomycin (5 microM) hyperpolarized the olfactory neurons and greatly potentiated the outward currents at positive holding membrane potential. 7. The data suggest that IP3 can depolarize rat olfactory neurons without mediation by intracellular Ca2+.
1. The left upper-quadrant bursting neurons (cells L2, L3, L4, and L6) of the abdominal ganglion of Aplysia display a regular burst-firing pattern that is controlled by cyclic changes of intracellular Ca2+ that occur during the bursting rhythm. The characteristic bursting pattern of these neurons occurs within a range of membrane potentials (-35 to -50 mV) called the pacemaker range. 2. Intracellular pressure injection of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) altered the bursting rhythm of the left upper-quadrant bursting (LUQB) cells for up to 15 min. Injection of IP3 induced a brief depolarization that was followed by a long-lasting (2-15 min) hyperpolarization. The hyperpolarizing phase of the response was accompanied by prolonged interburst intervals. 3. When cells were voltage-clamped at potentials within the pacemaker range, injection of IP3 generally induced a biphasic response that had a total duration of 2-15 min. An initial inward shift in holding current (Iin), which lasted 5-120 s, was followed by a slow outward shift in holding current (Iout). 4. At membrane potentials more negative than -40 mV, Iin was associated with a small and relatively voltage-independent increase in membrane conductance. Iin was not blocked by bath application of tetrodotoxin (TTX) or Co2+. Although Iin was activated by injection of IP3, we were unable to block it by iontophoretic injection of ethylene glycol-bis (beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetic acid (EGTA) sufficient to block the Ca2+-activated inward tail current (IB). The ionic mechanism that produces Iin has not been analyzed. 5. In normal bathing solution, Iout was present at membrane potentials more positive than approximately -50 mV. Iout was not blocked by 50 mM tetraethylammonium (TEA), which is known to block Ca2+-activated K+ currents (IK,Ca) in these cells. However, it was blocked by 30 mM Co2+, which blocks ICa. These results indicate that a steady-state ICa is necessary for the generation of Iout following injection of IP3, suggesting that Iout is due to inactivation of ICa and not to activation of a K+ conductance. 6. Intracellular iontophoresis of EGTA abolished Iout indicating that elevation of intracellular Ca2+ is necessary.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Cerebellar long-term depression (LTD) is a cellular model system of information storage in which coincident parallel fiber and climbing fiber activation of a Purkinje neuron (PN) gives rise to a sustained attenuation of parallel fiber-PN synaptic strength. Climbing fiber and parallel fiber inputs may be replaced by direct depolarization of the PN and exogenous glutamate pulses, respectively. The parallel fiber-PN synapse has a high-density of mGluR1 receptors that are coupled to phosphoinositide turnover. Several lines of evidence indicated that activation of mGluR1 by parallel fiber stimulation is necessary for the induction of cerebellar LTD. Because phosphoinositide hydrolysis has two initial products, 1,2-diacylglycerol and inositol-1,4,5- trisphosphate (IP3), we wished to determine whether IP3 signaling via IP3 receptors and consequent Ca mobilization were necessary for the induction of cerebellar LTD. First, ratiometric imaging of free cytosolic Ca was performed on both acutely dissociated and cultured PNs. It was determined that the threshold for glutamate pulses to contribute to LTD induction was below the threshold for producing a Ca transient. Furthermore, the Ca transients produced by depolarization alone and glutamate plus depolarization were not significantly different. Second, the potent and selective IP3 receptor channel blocker xestospongin C was not found to affect the induction of LTD in either acutely dissociated or cultured PNs at a concentration that was sufficient to block mGluR1-evoked Ca mobilization. Third, replacement of mGluR activation by exogenous synthetic diacylglycerol in an LTD induction protocol was successful. Taken together, these results suggest that activation of an IP3 signaling cascade is not required for induction of cerebellar LTD in reduced preparations.
The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is the major amygdaloid nucleus distributed with mu opioid receptors. The afferent input from the BLA to the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is considered important for opioid analgesia. However, little is known about the effect of mu opioids on synaptic transmission in the BLA. In this study, we examined the effect of mu opioid receptor stimulation on the inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs to CeA-projecting BLA neurons. BLA neurons were retrogradely labeled with a fluorescent tracer injected into the CeA of rats. Whole cell voltage-clamp recordings were performed on labeled BLA neurons in brain slices. The specific mu opioid receptor agonist, (D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly5-ol)-enkephalin (DAMGO, 1 microM), significantly reduced the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in 77% of cells tested. DAMGO also significantly decreased the peak amplitude of evoked IPSCs in 75% of cells examined. However, DAMGO did not significantly alter the frequency of mEPSCs or the peak amplitude of evoked EPSCs in 90% and 75% of labeled cells, respectively. Bath application of the Kv channel blockers, 4-AP (Kv1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 3.1, 3.2), alpha-dendrotoxin (Kv1.1, 1.2, 1.6), dendrotoxin-K (Kv1.1), or tityustoxin-Kalpha (Kv1.2) each blocked the inhibitory effect of DAMGO on mIPSCs. Double immunofluorescence labeling showed that some of the immunoreactivities of Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 were colocalized with synaptophysin in the BLA. This study provides new information that activation of presynaptic mu opioid receptors primarily attenuates GABAergic synaptic inputs to CeA-projecting neurons in the BLA through a signaling mechanism involving Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 channels.
Postinhibitory rebound (PIR) can play a significant role for producing stable rhythmic motor patterns, like locomotion, by contributing to burst initiation following the phase of inhibition, and PIR may also be a target for modulatory systems acting on the network. The current aim was to explore the PIR in one type of interneuron in the lamprey locomotor network and its dependence on low voltage-activated (LVA) calcium channels, as well as its modulation by 5-HT and dopamine. PIR responses in commissural interneurons, mediating reciprocal inhibition and left-right alternation in the network, were significantly larger than in motoneurons. The L-type calcium channel antagonist nimodipine reduced PIR amplitude by ∼ 50%, whereas the L-channel agonist BAY K 8644 enhanced PIR amplitude, suggesting that LVA calcium channels of the L-subtype (Ca(V)1.3) participate in the PIR response. The remainder of the response was blocked by nickel, indicating that T-type (Ca(V)3) LVA calcium channels also contribute. No evidence was obtained for the involvement of a hyperpolarization-activated current. Furthermore, 5-HT, acting via 5-HT(1A) receptors, reduced PIR, as did dopamine, acting via D(2) receptors. Coapplication of nimodipine caused no further PIR reduction, indicating that these modulators target Ca(V)1.3 channels specifically. These results suggest that PIR may play a prominent role in the generation of alternating network activity and that the Ca(V)1.3 and Ca(V)3 subtypes of LVA calcium channels together underlie the PIR response. 5-HT and dopamine both target PIR via Ca(V)1.3 channels, which may contribute significantly to their modulatory influence on locomotor network activity.
We recently showed that spinal cord contusion injury (SCI) at the thoracic level induces pain-related behaviors and increased spontaneous discharges, hyperresponsiveness to innocuous and noxious peripheral stimuli, and enlarged receptive fields in neurons in the ventral posterolateral (VPL) nucleus of the thalamus. These changes are linked to the abnormal expression of Na(v)1.3, a rapidly repriming voltage-gated sodium channel. In this study, we examined the burst firing properties of VPL neurons after SCI. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent contusion SCI at the T9 level. Four weeks later, when Na(v)1.3 protein was upregulated within VPL neurons, extracellular unit recordings were made from VPL neurons in intact animals, those with SCI, and in SCI animals after receiving lumbar intrathecal injections of Na(v)1.3 antisense or mismatch oligodeoxynucleotides for 4 days. After SCI, VPL neurons with identifiable peripheral receptive fields showed rhythmic oscillatory burst firing with changes in discrete burst properties, and alternated among single-spike, burst, silent, and spindle wave firing modes. Na(v)1.3 antisense, but not mismatch, partially reversed alterations in burst firing after SCI. These results demonstrate several newly characterized changes in spontaneous burst firing properties of VPL neurons after SCI and suggest that abnormal expression of Na(v)1.3 contributes to these phenomena.
Gain-of-function mutations of the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) Na(v)1.7 have been linked to human pain disorders. The mutation F1449V, located at the intracellular end of transmembrane helix S6 of domain III, induces the inherited pain syndrome erythromelalgia. A kinetic model of wild-type (WT) and F1449V Na(v)1.7 may provide a basis for predicting putative intraprotein interactions. We semiautomatically constrained a Markov model using stochastic search algorithms and whole cell patch-clamp recordings from human embryonic kidney cells transfected with Na(v)1.7 and its F1449V mutation. The best models obtained simulated known differences in action potential thresholds and firing patterns in spinal sensory neurons expressing WT and F1449V. The most suitable Markov model consisted of three closed, one open, and two inactivated states. The model predicted that the F1449V mutation shifts occupancy of the closed states closer to the open state, making it easier for the channel pore to open. It also predicted that F1449V's second inactivated state is more than four times more likely to be occupied than the equivalent state in WT at hyperpolarized potentials, although the mutation still lowered the firing threshold of action potentials. The differences between WT and F1449V were not limited to a single transition. Thus a point mutation in position F1449, while phenotypically most probably affecting the activation gate, may also modify channel functions mediated by structures in more distant areas of the channel protein.
Resting state studies of spontaneous fluctuations in the functional MRI (fMRI) blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal have shown great promise in mapping the brain's intrinsic, large-scale functional architecture. An important data preprocessing step used to enhance the quality of these observations has been removal of spontaneous BOLD fluctuations common to the whole brain (the so-called global signal). One reproducible consequence of global signal removal has been the finding that spontaneous BOLD fluctuations in the default mode network and an extended dorsal attention system are consistently anticorrelated, a relationship that these two systems exhibit during task performance. The dependence of these resting-state anticorrelations on global signal removal has raised important questions regarding the nature of the global signal, the validity of global signal removal, and the appropriate interpretation of observed anticorrelated brain networks. In this study, we investigate several properties of the global signal and find that it is, indeed, global, not residing preferentially in systems exhibiting anticorrelations. We detail the influence of global signal removal on resting state correlation maps both mathematically and empirically, showing an enhancement in detection of system-specific correlations and improvement in the correspondence between resting-state correlations and anatomy. Finally, we show that several characteristics of anticorrelated networks including their spatial distribution, cross-subject consistency, presence with modified whole brain masks, and existence before global regression are not attributable to global signal removal and therefore suggest a biological basis.
Ethanol (EtOH) has powerful effects on GABA(A) receptor-mediated neurotransmission, and we have previously shown that EtOH-induced enhancement of GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in the hippocampus is developmentally regulated. Because synaptic inhibition is determined in part by the firing properties of interneurons, we have investigated the mechanisms whereby EtOH influences the spontaneous firing characteristics and hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) of hippocampal interneurons located in the near to the border of stratum lacunosum moleculare and s. radiatum of adolescent and adult rats. EtOH did not affect current injection-induced action potentials of interneurons that do not exhibit spontaneous firing. However, in neurons that fire spontaneously, EtOH enhanced the frequency of spontaneous action potentials (sAPs) in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect that was more pronounced in interneurons from adolescent rats, compared with adult rats. EtOH also modulated the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) that follows sAPs by shortening the tau(slow) decay time constant, and this effect was more pronounced in slices from adolescent rats. EtOH increased Ih amplitudes, accelerated Ih activation kinetics, and increased the maximal Ih conductance in interneurons from animals in both age groups. These effects were also more pronounced in interneurons from adolescents and persisted in the presence of glutamatergic and GABAergic blockers. However, EtOH failed to affect sAP firing in the presence of ZD7288 or cesium chloride. These results suggest that Ih may be of mechanistic significance in the effect of EtOH on interneuron spontaneous firing.
Taking advantage of transgenic mice with genetically labeled GABA-releasing interneurons, we examined the cell-specific patterns of mGluR expression in two broadly defined subtypes of inhibitory interneurons in layer IV of somatosensory cortex. Electrophysiological recording combined with application of specific agonists for specific mGluRs demonstrated different effects of mGluR activation in fast-spiking (FS) versus regular spiking nonpyramidal (RSNP) interneurons. Whereas activation of group I, II, and III mGluRs inhibited excitatory synaptic transmission in RSNP neurons predominantly via postsynaptic mechanisms, group I mGluR activation depolarized FS but not RSNP interneurons. Immunoreactivities of mGluR1, mGluR5, mGluR2/3, and mGluR8 exhibited different cellular expression patterns in the two groups of neurons that were not entirely consistent with physiological and pharmacological experiments. Taken together, our data indicate cell and circuit-specific roles for mGluRs in modulating inhibitory circuits in the somatosensory cortex. These results help to reinforce the concept that RSNP and FS cells represent morphologically, physiologically, and functionally distinct groups of interneurons. The results reported here help to increase our understanding of the roles of mGluRs in endogenous glutamatergic-induced plasticity of interneuronal networks.
Our laboratory previously reported that gastric activity is controlled by a robust GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibition in the medial nucleus of the tractus solitarius (mNTS) (Herman et al. 2009), and that μ-opioid receptor activation inhibits gastric tone by suppression of this GABA signaling (Herman et al. 2010). These data raised two questions: 1) whether any of this inhibition was due to tonic GABA(A) receptor-mediated conductance in the mNTS; and 2) whether μ-opioid receptor activation suppressed both tonic and phasic GABA signaling. In whole cell recordings from rat mNTS neurons, application of three GABA(A) receptor antagonists (gabazine, bicuculline, and picrotoxin) produced a persistent reduction in holding current and decrease in population variance or root mean square (RMS) noise, suggesting a blockade of tonic GABA signaling. Application of gabazine at a lower concentration abolished phasic currents, but had no effect on tonic currents or RMS noise. Application of the δ-subunit preferring agonist gaboxadol (THIP) produced a dose-dependent persistent increase in holding current and RMS noise. Pretreatment with tetrodotoxin prevented the action of gabazine, but had no effect on the THIP-induced current. Membrane excitability was unaffected by the selective blockade of phasic inhibition, but was increased by blockade of both phasic and tonic currents. In contrast, activation of tonic currents decreased membrane excitability. Application of the μ-opioid receptor agonist DAMGO produced a persistent reduction in holding current that was not observed following pretreatment with a GABA(A) receptor antagonist and was not evident in mice lacking the δ-subunit. These data suggest that mNTS neurons possess a robust tonic inhibition that is mediated by GABA(A) receptors containing the δ-subunit, that determines membrane excitability, and that is partially regulated by μ-opioid receptors.
Although evidence indicates that activation of presympathetic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurons contributes to the pathogenesis of salt-sensitive hypertension, the underlying cellular mechanisms are not fully understood. Recent evidence indicates that small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels play a significant role in regulating the excitability of a key group of sympathetic regulatory PVN neurons, those with axonal projections to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM; i.e., PVN-RVLM neurons). In the present study, rats consuming a high salt (2% NaCl) diet were made hypertensive by systemic infusion of angiotensin II (AngII), and whole cell patch-clamp recordings were made in brain slice from retrogradely labeled PVN-RVLM neurons. To determine if the amplitude of SK current was altered in neurons from hypertensive rats, voltage-clamp recordings were performed to isolate SK current. Results indicate that SK current amplitude (P < 0.05) and density (P < 0.01) were significantly smaller in the hypertensive group. To investigate the impact of this on intrinsic excitability, current-clamp recordings were performed in separate groups of PVN-RVLM neurons. Results indicate that the frequency of spikes evoked by current injection was significantly higher in the hypertensive group (P < 0.05-0.01). Whereas bath application of the SK channel blocker apamin significantly increased discharge of neurons from normotensive rats (P < 0.05-0.01), no effect was observed in the hypertensive group. In response to ramp current injections, subthreshold depolarizing input resistance was greater in the hypertensive group compared with the normotensive group (P < 0.05). Blockade of SK channels increased depolarizing input resistance in normotensive controls (P < 0.05) but had no effect in the hypertensive group. On termination of current pulses, a medium afterhyperpolarization potential (mAHP) was observed in most neurons of the normotensive group. In the hypertensive group, the mAHP was either small or absent. In the latter case, an afterdepolarization potential (ADP) was observed that was unaffected by apamin. Apamin treatment in the normotensive group blocked the mAHP and revealed an ADP resembling that seen in the hypertensive group. We conclude that diminished SK current likely underlies the absence of mAHPs in PVN-RVLM neurons from hypertensive rats. Both the ADP and greater depolarizing input resistance likely contribute to increased excitability of PVN-RVLM neurons from rats with AngII-Salt hypertension.
Dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons possess D2-like somatodendritic and terminal autoreceptors that modulate cellular excitability and dopamine (DA) release. The cellular and molecular processes underlying the rapid presynaptic inhibition of DA release by D2 receptors remain unclear. Using a culture system in which isolated DAergic neurons establish self-innervating synapses ("autapses") that release both DA and glutamate, we studied the mechanism by which presynaptic D2 receptors inhibit glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Action-potential evoked EPSCs were reversibly inhibited by quinpirole, a selective D2 receptor agonist. This inhibition was slightly reduced by the inward rectifier K(+) channel blocker barium, largely prevented by the voltage-dependent K(+) channel blocker 4-aminopyridine, and completely blocked by their combined application. The lack of a residual inhibition of EPSCs under these conditions argues against the implication of a direct inhibition of presynaptic Ca(2+) channels. To evaluate the possibility of a direct inhibition of the secretory process, spontaneous miniature EPSCs were evoked by the Ca(2+) ionophore ionomycin. Ionomycin-evoked release was insensitive to cadmium and dramatically reduced by quinpirole, providing evidence for a direct inhibition of quantal release at a step downstream to Ca(2+) influx through voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. Surprisingly, this effect of quinpirole on ionomycin-evoked release was blocked by 4-aminopyridine. These results suggest that D2 receptor activation decreases neurotransmitter release from DAergic neurons through a presynaptic mechanism in which K(+) channels directly inhibit the secretory process.
The cellular proteins that underlie mechanosensation remain largely enigmatic in mammalian systems. Mechanically sensitive ion channels are thought to distinguish pressure, stretch, and other types of tactile signals in skin. Transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1) is a candidate mechanically sensitive channel that is expressed in primary afferent sensory neurons. However, its role in the mechanical sensitivity of these neurons is unclear. Here, we investigated TRPC1-dependent responses to both innocuous and noxious mechanical force. Mechanically evoked action potentials in cutaneous myelinated A-fiber and unmyelinated C-fiber neurons were quantified using the ex vivo skin-nerve preparation to record from the saphenous nerve, which terminates in the dorsal hairy skin of the hindpaw. Our data reveal that in TRPC1-deficient mice, mechanically evoked action potentials were decreased by nearly 50% in slowly adapting Aβ-fibers, which largely innervate Merkel cells, and in rapidly adapting Aδ-Down-hair afferent fibers compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, differences were not found in slowly adapting Aδ-mechanoreceptors or unmyelinated C-fibers, which primarily respond to nociceptive stimuli. These results suggest that TRPC1 may be important in the detection of innocuous mechanical force. We concurrently investigated the role of TRPC1 in behavioral responses to mechanical force to the plantar hindpaw skin. For innocuous stimuli, we developed a novel light stroke assay using a "puffed out" cotton swab. Additionally, we used repeated light, presumably innocuous punctate stimuli with a low threshold von Frey filament (0.68 mN). In agreement with our electrophysiological data in light-touch afferents, TRPC1-deficient mice exhibited nearly a 50% decrease in behavioral responses to both the light-stroke and light punctate mechanical assays when compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, TRPC1-deficient mice exhibited normal paw withdrawal response to more intense mechanical stimuli that are typically considered measures of nociceptive behavior.
Norepinephrine (NE) is an easily oxidized neurotransmitter that is found throughout the brain. Considerable evidence suggests that it plays an important role in neurocircuitry related to fear and anxiety responses. In certain subregions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), NE is found in large amounts. In this work we probed differences in electrically evoked release of NE and its regulation by the norepinephrine transporter (NET) and the α(2)-adrenergic autoreceptor (α(2)-AR) in two regions of the BNST of anesthetized rats. NE was monitored in the dorsomedial BNST (dmBNST) and ventral BNST (vBNST) by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry at carbon fiber microelectrodes. Pharmacological agents were introduced either by systemic application (intraperitoneal injection) or by local application (iontophoresis). The iontophoresis barrels were attached to a carbon fiber microelectrode to allow simultaneous detection of evoked NE release and quantitation of iontophoretic delivery. Desipramine (DMI), an inhibitor of NET, increased evoked release and slowed clearance of released NE in both regions independent of the mode of delivery. However, the effects of DMI were more robust in the vBNST than in the dmBNST. Similarly, the α(2)-AR autoreceptor inhibitor idazoxan (IDA) enhanced NE release in both regions but to a greater extent in the vBNST by both modes of delivery. Since both local application by iontophoresis and systemic application of IDA had similar effects on NE release, our results indicate that terminal autoreceptors play a predominant role in the inhibition of subsequent release.
The existence and role of fine-temporal structure in the spiking activity of central neurons is the subject of an enduring debate among physiologists. To a large extent, the problem is a statistical one: what inferences can be drawn from neurons monitored in the absence of full control over their presynaptic environments? In principle, properly crafted resampling methods can still produce statistically correct hypothesis tests. We focus on the approach to resampling known as jitter. We review a wide range of jitter techniques, illustrated by both simulation experiments and selected analyses of spike data from motor cortical neurons. We rely on an intuitive and rigorous statistical framework known as conditional modeling to reveal otherwise hidden assumptions and to support precise conclusions. Among other applications, we review statistical tests for exploring any proposed limit on the rate of change of spiking probabilities, exact tests for the significance of repeated fine-temporal patterns of spikes, and the construction of acceptance bands for testing any purported relationship between sensory or motor variables and synchrony or other fine-temporal events.
Umami is considered to be the fifth basic taste quality and is elicited by glutamate. The mouse is an ideal rodent model for the study of this taste quality because of evidence that suggests that this species, like humans, may sense umami-tasting compounds as unique from other basic taste qualities. We performed single-unit recording of taste responses in the parabrachial nucleus (PbN) of anesthetized C57BL/6J mice to investigate the central representation of umami taste. A total of 52 taste-responsive neurons (22 sucrose-best, 19 NaCl-best, 5 citric acid-best, and 6 quinine-best) were recorded from stimulation period with a large panel of basic and umami-tasting stimuli. No neuron responded best to monopotassium glutamate (MPG) or inosine 5'-monophosphate (IMP), suggesting convergence of input in the central nervous system. Synergism induced by an MPG-IMP mixture was observed in all sucrose-best and some NaCl-best neurons that possessed strong sensitivity to sucrose. In more than half of sucrose-best neurons, the MPG-IMP mixture evoked stronger responses than those elicited by their best stimulus. Furthermore, hierarchical cluster analysis and multidimensional analysis indicated close similarity between sucrose and the MPG-IMP mixture. These results strongly suggest the mixture tastes sweet to mice, a conclusion consistent with previous findings that show bidirectional generalization of conditioned taste aversion between sucrose and umami mixtures, and suppression of taste responses to both sucrose and mixtures by the antisweet polypeptide gurmarin in the chorda tympani nerve. The distribution pattern of reconstructed recording sites of specific neuron types suggested chemotopic organization in the PbN.
1. Experimental studies have shown that a central pattern generator in the spinal cord of the lamprey can produce the basic rhythm for locomotion. This pattern generator interacts with the reticular neurons forming a spinoreticulospinal loop. To better understand and investigate the mechanisms for locomotor pattern generation in the lamprey, we examine the dynamic behavior of a simplified neural network model representing a unit spinal pattern generator (uPG) and its interaction with the reticular system. We use the techniques of bifurcation analysis and specifically examine the effects on the dynamic behavior of the system of 1) changing tonic drives to the different neurons of the uPG; 2) altering inhibitory and excitatory interconnection strengths among the uPG neurons; and 3) feedforward-feedback interactions between the uPG and the reticular neurons. 2. The model analyzed is a qualitative left-right symmetric network based on proposed functional architecture with one class of phasic reticular neurons and three classes of uPG neurons: excitatory (E), lateral (L), and crossed (C) interneurons. In the model each class is represented by one left and one right neuron. Each neuron has basic passive properties akin to biophysical neurons and receives tonic synaptic drive and weighted synaptic input from other connecting neurons. The neuron's output as a function of voltage is given by a nonlinear function with a strict threshold and saturation. 3. With an appropriate set of parameter values, the voltage of each neuron can oscillate periodically with phase relationships among the different neurons that are qualitatively similar to those observed experimentally. The uPG alone can also oscillate, as observed experimentally in isolated lamprey spinal cords. Varying the parameters can, however, profoundly change the state of the system via different kinds of bifurcations. Change in a single parameter can move the system from nonoscillatory to oscillatory states via different kinds of bifurcations. For some parameter values the system can also exhibit multistable behavior (e.g., an oscillatory state and a nonoscillatory state). The analysis also shows us how the amplitudes of the oscillations vary and the periods of limit cycles change as different bifurcation points are approached. 4. Altering tonic drive to just one class of uPG neurons (without altering the interconnections) can change the state of the system by altering the stability of fixed points, converting fixed points to oscillations, single oscillations to two stable oscillations, etc. Two-parameter bifurcation diagrams show the critical regions in which a balance between the tonic drives is necessary to maintain stable oscillations. A minimum tonic drive is necessary to obtain stable oscillatory output. With appropriate changes in the tonic drives to the L and C neurons, stable oscillatory output can be obtained even after eliminating the E neurons. Indeed, the presence of active E neurons in the biological system does not prove they play a functional role in the system, because tonic drive from other sources can substitute for them. On the other hand, very high excitation of any one class of neurons can terminate oscillations. Appropriate balance of tonic drives to different neuron classes can help sustain stable oscillations for larger tonic drives. Published experimental results concerning changes in amplitude and swimming frequency with increased tonic drives are mimicked by the model's responses to increased tonic drive. 5. Interconnectivity among the neurons plays a crucial role. The analysis indicates that the C and L classes of neurons are essential components of the model network. Sufficient inhibition from the L to C neurons as well as mutual inhibition between the left and right halves is necessary to obtain stable oscillatory output. When the E neurons are present in the model network, they must receive appropriate tonic drive and provide appropriate excitation
Neuronal control with high temporal precision is possible with optogenetics, yet currently available methods do not enable to control independently multiple locations in the brains of freely moving animals. Here, we describe a diode-probe system that allows real-time and location-specific control of neuronal activity at multiple sites. Manipulation of neuronal activity in arbitrary spatiotemporal patterns is achieved by means of an optoelectronic array, manufactured by attaching multiple diode-fiber assemblies to high-density silicon probes or wire tetrodes and implanted into the brains of animals that are expressing light-responsive opsins. Each diode can be controlled separately, allowing localized light stimulation of neuronal activators and silencers in any temporal configuration and concurrent recording of the stimulated neurons. Because the only connections to the animals are via a highly flexible wire cable, unimpeded behavior is allowed for circuit monitoring and multisite perturbations in the intact brain. The capacity of the system to generate unique neural activity patterns facilitates multisite manipulation of neural circuits in a closed-loop manner and opens the door to addressing novel questions.