[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocytes release a variety of signaling molecules including glutamate, D-serine, and ATP in a regulated manner. Although the functions of these molecules, from regulating synaptic transmission to controlling specific behavior, are well documented, the identity of their cellular compartment(s) is still unclear. Here we set out to study vesicular exocytosis and glutamate release in mouse hippocampal astrocytes. We found that small vesicles and lysosomes coexisted in the same freshly isolated or cultured astrocytes. Both small vesicles and lysosome fused with the plasma membrane in the same astrocytes in a Ca(2+)-regulated manner, although small vesicles were exocytosed more efficiently than lysosomes. Blockade of the vesicle glutamate transporter or cleavage of synaptobrevin 2 and cellubrevin (both are vesicle-associated membrane proteins) with a clostridial toxin greatly inhibited glutamate release from astrocytes, while lysosome exocytosis remained intact. Thus, both small vesicles and lysosomes contribute to Ca(2+)-dependent vesicular exocytosis, and small vesicles support glutamate release from astrocytes.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The response to hyperosmotic stresses in the abdominal cavity is regulated, in part, by vasopressin (VP)-secreting neurons in the supraoptic nucleus (SON). How osmotic stress signals are transmitted to the brain is incompletely understood, and whether the transmission routes for osmotic stress signals differ between acute and chronic stresses is unknown. Here we investigated the role of the vagus, splanchnic nerves, and astrocytes in the SON in transducing acute hyperosmotic-stress signals from the abdominal cavity. We found that acute administration of hyperosmotic saline triggered the activation of neurons as well as astrocytes in the SON and the adjoining ventral glia limitans (SON-VGL). Severing the subdiaphragmatic vagal nerve (SDV) prevented the normal response of cells in the SON to HS treatment and attenuated the release of VP into the bloodstream. Lesioning the splanchnic nerves (SNL) diminished HS-induced release of VP, but to a much lesser extent than SDV. Furthermore, SNL did not significantly affect the up-regulation of Fos in SON neurons or the up-regulation of Fos and GFAP in SON and SON-VGL astrocytes that normally occurred in response to HS and did not affect HS-induced expansion of the SON-VGL. Inhibiting astrocytes with fluorocitrate (FCA) prevented the response of the SON to HS and attenuated the release of VP, similarly to SDV surgery. These results suggest that the vagus is the principle route for the transmission of hyperosmotic signals to the brain and that astrocytes in the SON region are necessary for the activation of SON neurons and the release of VP into the bloodstream.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of Neuroscience Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To modulate gene expression in research studies or in potential clinical therapies, transfection of exogenous nucleic acids
including plasmid DNA and small interference RNA (siRNA) are generally performed. However, the cellular processing and the
fate of these nucleic acids remain elusive. By investigating the cellular behavior of transfected nucleic acids using confocal
imaging, here we show that when siRNA was co-transfected into cultured cells with other nucleic acids, including single-stranded
RNA oligonucleotides, single and double-stranded DNA oligonucleotides, as well as long double-stranded plasmid DNA, they all
aggregate in the same cytoplasmic granules. Interestingly, the amount of siRNA aggregating in granules was found not to correlate
with the gene silencing activity, suggesting that assembly of cytoplasmic granules triggered by siRNA transfection may be
separable from the siRNA silencing event. Our results argue against the claim that the siRNA-aggregating granules are the
functional site of RNA interference (RNAi). Taken together, our studies suggest that, independent of their types or forms,
extraneously transfected nucleic acids are processed through a common cytoplasmic pathway and trigger the formation of a new
type of cytoplasmic granules “transfection granules”.
Keywordssmall interference RNA (siRNA)-nucleic acids-P-body-RNA interference (RNAi)-transfection
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined whether glial cells in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (Sp5C) were necessary for orofacial nociception and nociceptive processing induced by subcutaneously (s.c.) injection of 5% formalin into left mystacial vibrissae. The immunohistochemical, immunoelectron microscopical methods and behavior assessment were used in this study. Two hours after administration of carbenoxolone (CBX, a gap junction blocker) or fluorocistrate (FCA, a glail metabolic inhibitor) into the cerebellomedullary cistern, the nociceptive behavior and scratching-cumulative time reduced significantly (P<0.01). FCA attenuated obviously the expression of Fos/NeuN-immunoreactive (-IR) neurons (mean+/-S.E.M.=29+/-2.5) and Fos/glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-IR astrocytes (7.2+/-2.2) in Sp5C. CBX decreased the number of Fos/NeuN-IR neurons (25+/-1.7), but did not affect Fos/GFAP-IR astrocytes (16.2+/-5.4), compared with vehicle-preadministered rats (Fos/NeuN-IR neurons 135+/-4.2, and Fos/GFAP-IR astrocytes 25.8+/-4). Immunoelectron microscopy established that Cx32/Cx43 heterotypic gap junctions (HGJs) were present on junction areas between astrocytes and neurons within Sp5C. The number of HGJs increased significantly following formalin s.c. injection. It suggests that the Sp5C astrocytes may play an active regulating role in orofacial nociception via Cx32/Cx43 HGJs between astrocytes and neurons of Sp5C.
No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Neuroscience Research