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(1/1554) Post-ingestive feedbacks and associative learning regulate the intake of unsuitable sterols in a generalist grasshopper.

Behavioural studies of the grasshopper Schistocerca americana were undertaken to identify the mechanisms that regulate the intake of dietary sterols. In the first experiment, grasshoppers were allowed to feed on spinach, a plant containing only unsuitable sterols; immediately after this first meal, a suitable or unsuitable sterol was injected into the haemolymph. Grasshoppers injected with unsuitable sterols had second meals on spinach that were significantly shorter than those of grasshoppers injected with suitable sterols, indicating that unsuitable dietary sterols are detected post-ingestively. In the second experiment, grasshoppers were fed food containing only unsuitable sterols and were then presented with glass-fibre discs containing different concentrations of a suitable sterol or sucrose only (the control). The results suggest that grasshoppers do not use a direct feedback operating on mouthpart chemoreceptors to regulate their intake of suitable sterols. In the third experiment, grasshoppers were presented with artificial diets containing different sterols and flavours, and feeding was observed over a sequence of meals. The results from both the first and last experiments suggest a role for associative learning in regulating the intake of unsuitable sterols.  (+info)

(2/1554) Quantitative structure-activity relationships for nasal pungency thresholds of volatile organic compounds.

A model was developed for describing the triggering of nasal pungency in humans, based on the partition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) between the air phase and the biophase. Two partition parameters are used in the model: the water-air partition coefficient and the octanol-water partition coefficient. The model was validated using data from the literature, principally on alcohols, acetates and ketones. The model suggests that all test compounds, regardless of their chemical functional groups, bind to a common receptor site within the hydrophobic interior of the bilayer membrane of the trigeminal nerve endings. There is probably only a slight, non-specific interaction between the VOC molecule and the receptor molecule, whereas this type of non-specific interaction for the detection of odor is much stronger. In practical terms, the suggestion that all VOCs share a common irritation receptor site implies that nasal-pungency thresholds of individual VOCs may be additive. Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for nasal-pungency thresholds were also developed from the model, which can be used to predict nasal-pungency thresholds of common VOCs. Although the present model does not offer additional precision over that of M.H. Abraham et al., 1996, Fundam. Appl. Toxicol. 31, 71-76, it requires fewer descriptors and offers a physiological basis to the QSAR. Another advantage of the present model is that it also provides a basis for comparison between the olfactory process and nasal pungency.  (+info)

(3/1554) Chemotactic responses of Escherichia coli to small jumps of photoreleased L-aspartate.

Computer-assisted motion analysis coupled to flash photolysis of caged chemoeffectors provides a means for time-resolved analysis of bacterial chemotaxis. Escherichia coli taxis toward the amino acid attractant L-aspartate is mediated by the Tar receptor. The physiology of this response, as well as Tar structure and biochemistry, has been studied extensively. The beta-2, 6-dinitrobenzyl ester of L-aspartic acid and the 1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl ether of 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-tris-sulfonic acid were synthesized. These compounds liberated L-aspartate and the fluorophore 8-hydroxypyrene 1,3,6-tris-sulfonic acid (pyranine) upon irradiation with near-UV light. Photorelease of the fluorophore was used to define the amplitude and temporal stability of the aspartate jumps employed in chemotaxis experiments. The dependence of chemotactic adaptation times on aspartate concentration, determined in mixing experiments, was best fit by two Tar aspartate-binding sites. Signal processing (excitation) times, amplitudes, and adaptive recovery of responses elicited by aspartate jumps producing less than 20% change in receptor occupancy were characterized in photorelease assays. Aspartate concentration jumps in the nanomolar range elicited measurable responses. The response threshold and sensitivity of swimming bacteria matched those of bacteria tethered to glass by a single flagellum. Stimuli of similar magnitude, delivered either by rapid mixing or photorelease, evoked responses of similar strength, as assessed by recovery time measurements. These times remained proportional to change in receptor occupancy close to threshold, irrespective of prior occupancy. Motor excitation responses decayed exponentially with time. Rates of excitation responses near threshold ranged from 2 to 7 s-1. These values are consistent with control of excitation signaling by decay of phosphorylated pools of the response regulator protein, CheY. Excitation response rates increased slightly with stimulus size up to values limited by the instrumentation; the most rapid was measured to be 16 +/- 3 (SE) s-1. This increase may reflect simultaneous activation of CheY dephosphorylation, together with inhibition of its phosphorylation.  (+info)

(4/1554) Trigeminal and carotid body inputs controlling vascular resistance in muscle during post-contraction hyperaemia in cats.

1. In anaesthetized cats, the effects of stimulation of the receptors in the nasal mucosa and carotid body chemoreceptors on vascular resistance in hindlimb skeletal muscle were studied to see whether the responses were the same in active as in resting muscle. The measurements of vascular resistance were taken, first, in resting muscle, and second, in the immediate post-contraction hyperaemic phase that followed a 30 s period of isometric contractions. 2. Stimulation of the receptors in the nasal mucosa caused reflex apnoea and vasoconstriction in muscle. The latter response was attenuated when the test was repeated during post-contraction hyperaemia. 3. Stimulations of the carotid bodies were made during a period of apnoea evoked reflexly by electrical stimulation of both superior laryngeal nerves. This apnoea prevented any effects of changes in respiration on the carotid body reflex vascular responses. Stimulation of the carotid bodies evoked hindlimb muscle vasoconstriction. In the post-contraction hyperaemic period, the response was reduced or abolished. A similar attenuation of the reflex vasoconstrictor responses occurred in decentralized muscles stimulated through their motor roots in the cauda equina. 4. Evidence is presented that the attenuation of the vasoconstrictor responses evoked by the two reflexes is a phenomenon localized to the contracting muscles themselves resulting from an interaction between sympathetic neuronal activity and the local production of metabolites. 5. The results are discussed in relation to the metabolic needs of tissues in relation to asphyxial defence mechanisms such as occur in the diving response.  (+info)

(5/1554) Depression of peripheral chemosensitivity by a dopaminergic mechanism in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

In the present study, respiratory drives to chemical stimuli and peripheral chemosensitivity were evaluated in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSAS). The effects of oral administration of domperidone, a selective dopamine D2-receptor antagonist, were also examined, to study the respiratory effects of endogenous dopamine on peripheral chemoreceptors. Sixteen patients with OSAS and nine normal control subjects were studied. Respiratory responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia were measured using the rebreathing method and isocapnic progressive hypoxia method, respectively. The hypoxic withdrawal test, which measures the decrease in ventilation caused by two breaths of 100% O2 under mild hypercapnic hypoxic conditions (end-tidal oxygen and carbon dioxide tensions approximately 8.0 kPa and 5.3-6.7 kPa, respectively), was used to evaluate peripheral chemosensitivity. In the patients with OSAS, ventilatory responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia were significantly decreased compared with those of control subjects. Hypoxic withdrawal tests showed that peripheral chemosensitivity was significantly lower in patients with OSAS than in normal subjects. Hypercapnic ventilatory response and peripheral chemosensitivity were enhanced by administration of domperidone in the patients with OSAS, although no changes in either of these were observed in the control subjects. The hypoxic ventilatory response and peripheral chemosensitivity in the patients with OSAS were each significantly correlated with severity of hypoxia during sleep. These findings suggest that peripheral chemosensitivity in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome may be decreased as a result of abnormality in dopaminergic mechanisms and that the reduced chemosensitivity observed in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome may affect the severity of hypoxia during sleep.  (+info)

(6/1554) BDNF is a target-derived survival factor for arterial baroreceptor and chemoafferent primary sensory neurons.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports survival of 50% of visceral afferent neurons in the nodose/petrosal sensory ganglion complex (NPG; Ernfors et al., 1994a; Jones et al., 1994; Conover et al., 1995; Liu et al., 1995; Erickson et al., 1996), including arterial chemoafferents that innervate the carotid body and are required for development of normal breathing (Erickson et al., 1996). However, the relationship between BDNF dependence of visceral afferents and the location and timing of BDNF expression in visceral tissues is unknown. The present study demonstrates that BDNF mRNA and protein are transiently expressed in NPG targets in the fetal cardiac outflow tract, including baroreceptor regions in the aortic arch, carotid sinus, and right subclavian artery, as well as in the carotid body. The period of BDNF expression corresponds to the onset of sensory innervation and to the time at which fetal NPG neurons are BDNF-dependent in vitro. Moreover, baroreceptor innervation is absent in newborn mice lacking BDNF. In addition to vascular targets, vascular afferents themselves express high levels of BDNF, both during and after the time they are BDNF-dependent. However, endogenous BDNF supports survival of fetal NPG neurons in vitro only under depolarizing conditions. Together, these data indicate two roles for BDNF during vascular afferent pathway development; initially, as a target-derived survival factor, and subsequently, as a signaling molecule produced by the afferents themselves. Furthermore, the fact that BDNF is required for survival of functionally distinct populations of vascular afferents demonstrates that trophic requirements of NPG neurons are not modality-specific but may instead be associated with innervation of particular organ systems.  (+info)

(7/1554) Selective potentiation of peripheral chemoreflex sensitivity in obstructive sleep apnea.

BACKGROUND: The chemoreflexes are an important mechanism for regulation of both breathing and autonomic cardiovascular function. Abnormalities in chemoreflex mechanisms may be implicated in increased cardiovascular stress in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We tested the hypothesis that chemoreflex function is altered in patients with OSA. METHODS AND RESULTS: We compared ventilatory, sympathetic, heart rate, and blood pressure responses to hypoxia, hypercapnia, and the cold pressor test in 16 untreated normotensive patients with OSA and 12 normal control subjects matched for age and body mass index. Baseline muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) was higher in the patients with OSA than in the control subjects (43+/-4 versus 21+/-3 bursts per minute; P<0. 001). During hypoxia, patients with OSA had greater increases in minute ventilation (5.8+/-0.8 versus 3.2+/-0.7 L/min; P=0.02), heart rate (10+/-1 versus 7+/-1 bpm; P=0.03), and mean arterial pressure (7+/-2 versus 0+/-2 mm Hg; P=0.001) than control subjects. Despite higher ventilation and blood pressure (both of which inhibit sympathetic activity) in OSA patients, the MSNA increase during hypoxia was similar in OSA patients and control subjects. When the sympathetic-inhibitory influence of breathing was eliminated by apnea during hypoxia, the increase in MSNA in OSA patients (106+/-20%) was greater than in control subjects (52+/-23%; P=0.04). Prolongation of R-R interval with apnea during hypoxia was also greater in OSA patients (24+/-6%) than in control subjects (7+/-5%) (P=0.04). Autonomic, ventilatory, and blood pressure responses to hypercapnia and the cold pressor test in OSA patients were not different from those observed in control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: OSA is associated with a selective potentiation of autonomic, hemodynamic, and ventilatory responses to peripheral chemoreceptor activation by hypoxia.  (+info)

(8/1554) NADPH oxidase inhibition does not interfere with low PO2 transduction in rat and rabbit CB chemoreceptor cells.

The aim of the present work was to elucidate the role of NADPH oxidase in hypoxia sensing and transduction in the carotid body (CB) chemoreceptor cells. We have studied the effects of several inhibitors of NADPH oxidase on the normoxic and hypoxia-induced release of [3H]catecholamines (CA) in an in vitro preparation of intact CB of the rat and rabbit whose CA deposits have been labeled by prior incubation with the natural precursor [3H]tyrosine. It was found that diphenyleneiodonium (DPI; 0.2-25 microM), an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, caused a dose-dependent release of [3H]CA from normoxic CB chemoreceptor cells. Contrary to hypoxia, DPI-evoked release was only partially Ca2+ dependent. Concentrations of DPI reported to produce full inhibition of NADPH oxidase in the rat CB did not prevent the hypoxic release response in the rat and rabbit CB chemoreceptor cells, as stimulation with hypoxia in the presence of DPI elicited a response equaling the sum of that produced by DPI and hypoxia applied separately. Neopterin (3-300 microM) and phenylarsine oxide (0.5-2 microM), other inhibitors of NADPH oxidase, did not promote release of [3H]CA in normoxic conditions or affect the response elicited by hypoxia. On the basis of effects of neopterin and phenylarsine oxide, it is concluded that NADPH oxidase does not appear to play a role in oxygen sensing or transduction in the rat and rabbit CB chemoreceptor cells in vitro and, in the context of the present study, that DPI effects are not related to NADPH oxidase inhibition.  (+info)