Functional and neurochemical characterization of angiotensin type 1A receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract of the mouse

D. A. Carter, Y. T. Choong, A. A. Connelly, J. K. Bassi, N. O. Hunter, N. Thongsepee, I. J. Llewellyn-Smith, A. Y. Fong, S. J. McDougall, A. M. Allen

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    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Angiotensin II acts via two main receptors within the central nervous system, with the type 1A receptor (AT1AR) most widely expressed in adult neurons. Activation of the AT1R in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), the principal nucleus receiving central synapses of viscerosensory afferents, modulates cardiovascular reflexes. Expression of the AT1R occurs in high density within the NTS of most mammals, including humans, but the fundamental electrophysiological and neurochemical characteristics of the AT1ARexpressing NTS neurons are not known. To address this, we have used a transgenic mouse, in which the AT1AR promoter drives expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP). Approximately one-third of AT1AR-expressing neurons express the catecholamine-synthetic enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and a subpopulation of these stained for the transcription factor paired-like homeobox 2b (Phox2b). A third group, comprising approximately two-thirds of the AT1AR-expressing NTS neurons, showed Phox2b immunoreactivity alone. A fourth group in the ventral subnucleus expressed neither TH nor Phox2b. In whole cell recordings from slices in vitro, AT1AR-GFP neurons exhibited voltage-activated potassium currents, including the transient outward current and the M-type potassium current. In two different mouse strains, both AT1AR-GFP neurons and TH-GFP neurons showed similar AT1AR-mediated depolarizing responses to superfusion with angiotensin II. These data provide a comprehensive description of AT1AR-expressing neurons in the NTS and increase our understanding of the complex actions of this neuropeptide in the modulation of viscerosensory processing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)R438-R449
    Number of pages12
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
    Volume313
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017

    Keywords

    • Angiotensin type 1A receptor
    • Area postrema
    • Blood pressure
    • Dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus
    • Transgenic mouse

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