The visceral sensory information from the internal organs is conveyed via the vagus and glossopharyngeal primary afferent fibers and transmitted to the second-order neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). The glutamate release from the solitary tract (TS) axons to the second-order NTS neurons remains even in the presence of toxins that block N- and P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs). The presynaptic VDCC playing the major role at this synapse remains unidentified. To address this issue, we examined two hypotheses in this study. First, we examined whether the remaining large component occurs through activation of a ω-conotoxin GVIA (ω-CgTX)-insensitive variant of N-type VDCC by using the mice genetically lacking its pore-forming subunit α1B. Second, we examined whether R-type VDCCs are involved in transmitter release at the TS-NTS synapse. The EPSCs evoked by stimulation of the TS were recorded in medullary slices from young mice. ω-Agatoxin IVA (ω-AgaIVA; 200 nM) did not significantly affect the EPSC amplitude in the mice genetically lacking N-type VDCC. SNX-482 (500 nM) and Ni2+ (100 μM) did not significantly reduce EPSC amplitude in ICR mice. These results indicate that, unlike in most of the brain synapses identified to date, the largest part of the glutamate release at the TS-NTS synapse in mice occurs through activation of non-L, non-P/Q, non-R, non-T and non-N (including its posttranslational variants) VDCCs at least according to their pharmacological properties identified to date.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology