Scientific article

Identified motoneurons involved in sexual and eliminative functions in the rat are powerfully excited by vasopressin and tachykinins

Published inThe Journal of neuroscience, vol. 26, no. 42, p. 10717-10726
Publication date2006

The pudendal motor system is constituted by striated muscles of the pelvic floor and the spinal motoneurons that innervate them. It plays a role in eliminative functions of the bladder and intestine and in sexual function. Pudendal motoneurons are located in the ventral horn of the caudal lumbar spinal cord and send their axon into the pudendal nerve. In the rat, binding sites for vasopressin and tachykinin are present in the dorsomedial and dorsolateral pudendal nuclei, suggesting that these neuropeptides may affect pudendal motoneurons. The aim of the present study was to investigate possible effects of vasopressin and tachykinins on these motoneurons. Recordings were performed in spinal cord slices of young male rats using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Before recording, motoneurons were identified by 1,1'-dilinoleyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine, 4-chlorobenzenesulfonate retrograde labeling. The identification was confirmed, a posteriori, by choline acetyltransferase immunocytochemistry. Vasopressin and tachykinins caused a powerful excitation of pudendal motoneurons. The peptide-evoked depolarization, or the peptide-evoked inward current, persisted in the presence of tetrodotoxin, indicating that these effects were mainly postsynaptic. By using selective receptor agonists and antagonist, we determined that vasopressin acted via vasopressin 1a (V1a), but not V1b, V2, or oxytocin receptors, whereas tachykinins acted via neurokinin 1 (NK1), but not NK2 or NK3, receptors. Vasopressin acted by enhancing a nonselective cationic conductance; in some motoneurons, it also probably suppressed a resting K+ conductance. Our data show that vasopressin and tachykinins can excite pudendal motoneurons and thus influence the force of striated perineal muscles involved in eliminative and sexual functions.

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Eliminative Behavior, Animal/drug effects/ physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons/drug effects/ physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Vasopressin/agonists/physiology
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal/drug effects/ physiology
  • Tachykinins/pharmacology/ physiology
  • Vasopressins/pharmacology/ physiology
Citation (ISO format)
OGIER, Roch et al. Identified motoneurons involved in sexual and eliminative functions in the rat are powerfully excited by vasopressin and tachykinins. In: The Journal of neuroscience, 2006, vol. 26, n° 42, p. 10717–10726. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3364-06.2006
Updates (1)
ISSN of the journal0270-6474

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