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Nicotinic cholinergic activation of magnocellular neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus
|Published in||Neuroscience. 2002, vol. 110, no. 2, p. 287-299|
|Abstract||The aim of the present work was to determine whether paraventricular neurons possess functional acetylcholine nicotinic receptors. Using infrared videomicroscopy and differential interference contrast optics, we performed whole-cell recordings in hypothalamic slices containing the paraventricular nucleus. Acetylcholine, locally applied by pressure microejection in the presence of the muscarinic antagonist atropine, evoked a rapidly rising inward current in paraventricular magnocellular endocrine neurons. This current persisted in the presence of blockers of synaptic transmission. It could be reversibly suppressed by nanomolar concentrations of methyllycaconitine, a selective antagonist of alpha 7-containing nicotinic receptors, but was insensitive to micromolar concentrations of dihydro-beta-erythroidine, an antagonist acting preferentially on non-alpha 7 nicotinic receptors. In addition, the effect of acetylcholine could be mimicked by exo-2-(2-pyridyl)-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane, a recently synthesized nicotinic agonist specific for alpha 7 receptors. Acetylcholine also desensitized paraventricular nicotinic receptors. Desensitization was pronounced and recovery from desensitization was rapid, consistent with the notion that paraventricular nicotinic receptors contain the alpha 7 subunit. Nicotinic currents could not be evoked in paraventricular parvocellular neurons, suggesting that these neurons are devoid of functional nicotinic receptors. The electrophysiological data were corroborated by light microscopic autoradiography, showing that [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin binding sites are present in all the magnocellular divisions of the paraventricular nucleus but are undetectable in other areas of this nucleus. Immunohistochemistry, performed using antibodies directed against vasopressin and oxytocin, indicated that responsiveness to nicotinic agonists was a property of vasopressin as well as of oxytocin magnocellular endocrine neurons, in both the paraventricular and the supraoptic nucleus. We conclude that nicotinic agonists can influence the magnocellular neurosecretory system by directly increasing the excitability of magnocellular neurons. By contrast, they are probably without direct effects on paraventricular parvocellular neurons.|
|Keywords||Acetylcholine/ metabolism/pharmacology — Animals — Cell Size/drug effects/physiology — Male — Membrane Potentials/drug effects/physiology — Neurons/cytology/drug effects/ metabolism — Neurophysins/metabolism — Nicotinic Antagonists/ pharmacology — Oxytocin/metabolism — Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus/cytology/drug effects/ metabolism — Radioligand Assay — Rats — Rats, Sprague-Dawley — Receptors, Nicotinic/drug effects/ metabolism — Synaptic Transmission/drug effects/ physiology — Vasopressins/metabolism|