Role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the Ca2+-induced decline of transmitter release at K+-depolarized motor neuron terminals. (1/106)

The present study tested whether a Ca2+-induced disruption of mitochondrial function was responsible for the decline in miniature endplate current (MEPC) frequency that occurs with nerve-muscle preparations maintained in a 35 mM potassium propionate (35 mM KP) solution containing elevated calcium. When the 35 mM KP contained control Ca2+ (1 mM), the MEPC frequency increased and remained elevated for many hours, and the mitochondria within twitch motor neuron terminals were similar in appearance to those in unstimulated terminals. All nerve terminals accumulated FM1-43 when the dye was present for the final 6 min of a 300-min exposure to 35 mM KP with control Ca2+. In contrast, when Ca2+ was increased to 3.6 mM in the 35 mM KP solution, the MEPC frequency initially reached frequencies >350 s-1 but then gradually fell approaching frequencies <50 s-1. A progressive swelling and eventual distortion of mitochondria within the twitch motor neuron terminals occurred during prolonged exposure to 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+. After approximately 300 min in 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+, only 58% of the twitch terminals accumulated FM1-43. The decline in MEPC frequency in 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+ was less when 15 mM glucose was present or when preparations were pretreated with 10 microM oligomycin and then bathed in the 35 mM KP with glucose. When glucose was present, with or without oligomycin pretreatment, a greater percentage of twitch terminals accumulated FM1-43. However, the mitochondria in these preparations were still greatly swollen and distorted. We propose that prolonged depolarization of twitch motor neuron terminals by 35 mM KP with elevated Ca2+ produced a Ca2+-induced decrease in mitochondrial ATP production. Under these conditions, the cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio was decreased thereby compromising both transmitter release and refilling of recycled synaptic vesicles. The addition of glucose stimulated glycolysis which contributed to the maintenance of required ATP levels.  (+info)

Basolateral regulation of pHi in isolated snake renal proximal tubules in presence and absence of bicarbonate. (2/106)

Intracellular pH (pHi) and its basolateral regulation were studied in isolated proximal-proximal and distal-proximal segments of garter snake (Thamnophis spp.) renal tubules with oil-filled lumens in HEPES-buffered and in HEPES-HCO-3-buffered media (pH 7.4 at 25 degrees C). pHi was measured with the pH-sensitive fluorescent dye 2',7'-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-5,6-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) under resting conditions and in response to NH4Cl pulse. Resting pHi (approximately 7.1-7.2) and its response to and rate of recovery (dpHi/dt) from an NH4Cl pulse were not affected by the presence or absence of HCO-3 in either segment. Rate of recovery was depressed by Na+ removal in distal-proximal segments only and only in HEPES buffer. It was not affected by removal of Cl- or of both Na+ and Cl- or by reduction in membrane potential through addition of Ba2+ (5 mM) or high K+ (75 mM) in either segment in either HEPES or HEPES-HCO-3 buffer. The Na+/H+ exchange inhibitor ethylisopropylamiloride (EIPA) (100 microM) and the anion exchange inhibitor DIDS (100 microM) reduced dpHi/dt in the distal-proximal segments only and only in HEPES-HCO-3 buffer. The H+-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin (1 microM), H+-K+-ATPase and K+/NH+4 exchange inhibitor Schering 28080 (10-100 microM), organic cation efflux inhibitor tetrapentylammonium (25 microM-20 mM), and K+ channel blocker tetraethylammonium (20 mM) had no effect on dpHi/dt in either segment. These data do not clearly support basolateral regulation of pHi in snake proximal renal tubules by commonly recognized Na+-dependent or Na+-independent acid or base transporters.  (+info)

Endocytic active zones: hot spots for endocytosis in vertebrate neuromuscular terminals. (3/106)

We have used a sensitive activity-dependent probe, sulforhodamine 101 (SR101), to view endocytic events within snake motor nerve terminals. After very brief neural stimulation at reduced temperature, SR101 is visualized exclusively at punctate sites located just inside the presynaptic membrane of each terminal bouton. The number of sites (approximately 26 sites/bouton) and their location (in register with postsynaptic folds) are similar to the number and location of active zones in snake motor terminals, suggesting a spatial association between exocytosis and endocytosis under these stimulus conditions. With more prolonged stimulation, larger SR101-containing structures appear at the bouton margins. Thus endocytosis occurs initially at distinct sites, which we call "endocytic active zones," whereas further stimulation recruits a second endocytic paradigm.  (+info)

Empty synaptic vesicles recycle and undergo exocytosis at vesamicol-treated motor nerve terminals. (4/106)

We investigated whether recycled cholinergic synaptic vesicles, which were not refilled with ACh, would join other synaptic vesicles in the readily releasable store near active zones, dock, and continue to undergo exocytosis during prolonged stimulation. Snake nerve-muscle preparations were treated with 5 microM vesamicol to inhibit the vesicular ACh transporter and then were exposed to an elevated potassium solution, 35 mM potassium propionate (35 KP), to release all preformed quanta of ACh. At vesamicol-treated endplates, miniature endplate current (MEPC) frequency increased initially from 0.4 to >300 s-1 in 35 KP but then declined to <1 s-1 by 90 min. The decrease in frequency was not accompanied by a decrease in MEPC average amplitude. Nerve terminals accumulated the activity-dependent dye FM1-43 when exposed to the dye for the final 6 min of a 120-min exposure to 35 KP. Thus synaptic membrane endocytosis continued at a high rate, although MEPCs occurred infrequently. After a 120-min exposure in 35 KP, nerve terminals accumulated FM1-43 and then destained, confirming that exocytosis also still occurred at a high rate. These results demonstrate that recycled cholinergic synaptic vesicles that were not refilled with ACh continued to dock and undergo exocytosis after membrane retrieval. Thus transport of ACh into recycled cholinergic vesicles is not a requirement for repeated cycles of exocytosis and retrieval of synaptic vesicle membrane during prolonged stimulation of motor nerve terminals.  (+info)

Signal transduction in the vomeronasal organ of garter snakes: ligand-receptor binding-mediated protein phosphorylation. (5/106)

The vomeronasal (VN) system of garter snakes plays an important role in several species-typical behaviors, such as prey recognition and responding to courtship pheromones. We (X.C. Jiang et al., J. Biol. Chem. 265 (1990) 8736-8744 and Y. Luo et al., J. Biol. Chem. 269 (1994) 16867-16877) have demonstrated previously that in the snake VN sensory epithelium, the chemoattractant ES20, a 20-kDa glycoprotein derived from electric shock-induced earthworm secretion, binds to its receptor which is coupled to PTX-sensitive G-proteins. Such binding results in elevated levels of IP3. We now report that ES20-receptor binding regulates the phosphorylation of two membrane-bound proteins with molecular masses of 42- and 44-kDa (p42/44) in both intact and cell-free preparations of the VN sensory epithelium. ES20 and DAG regulate the phosphorylation of p42/44 in a similar manner. ES20-receptor binding-mediated phosphorylation of p42/44 is rapid and transient, reaching a peak value within 40 seconds and decaying thereafter. Phosphorylation of p42/44 appears to be regulated by the countervailing actions of a specific membrane-bound protein kinase and a protein phosphatase. The phosphorylation of these membrane-bound proteins significantly reduces the activity of G-proteins as evidenced by a decrease in GTPase activity, but has little effect on ligand-receptor binding. These findings suggest that p42/44 play a role in modulating the signal transduction induced by ES20 in the vomeronasal system.  (+info)

Oral sensory papillae, chemo- and mechano-receptors, in the snake, Elaphe quadrivirgata. A light and electron microscopic study. (6/106)

The oral sensory papillae of the snake (Elaphe quadrivirgata), comprising a compound sensory system located along the tooth rows, were studied by light microscopy, immunohistochemistry for neuron specific enolase and S 100 protein, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Each sensory papilla exhibited a single taste bud and free nerve endings in the epithelium, and Meissner-like corpuscles, branched coiled terminals, and lamellated corpuscles in the connective tissue. The taste buds consisted of four types of cells; the type III cells, exclusively synapsing onto intragemmal nerves, were identified as gustatory in function. The gustatory cells included dense-cored and clear vesicles in the cytoplasm. These vesicles were accumulated both in the presynaptic and infranuclear regions, suggesting dual functions: the synaptocrine and paracrine/endocrine release of signal substances. The free nerve endings constantly contained mitochondria and frequent clear vesicles. The Meissner-like corpuscles were located in the uppermost zone of the connective tissue. These corpuscles consisted of nerve fibers and lamellar cells. The nerve fibers, rich in mitochondria, were folded and layered on each other. The branched coiled terminals were localized in the connective tissue along the side wall of the papillae. Nerve fibers, free from a Schwann-cell covering, swelled up to make terminals which accumulated mitochondria and glycogen particles. The lamellated corpuscles were associated with the nerve-fiber bundles in the connective tissue. Consisting of a central nerve axon and lamellar cells encircling it, these corpuscles resembled mammalian Vater-Pacini corpuscles, except that they lacked a capsule. These findings demonstrated that the snake sensory papilla represents one of the most specialized, compound sensory systems among vertebrates, which may play an important role in receiving chemical and mechanical information on prey.  (+info)

Effect of temperature on pH and electrolyte concentration in air-breathing ectotherms. (7/106)

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of temperature upon pH, protein charge and acid-base-relevant ion exchange in air-breathing ectotherms. Plasma and skeletal muscles in cane toads (Bufo marinus) and bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) were examined at 30, 20 and 10 degrees C. In addition, skeletal muscle ion concentrations were examined in black racer snakes (Coluber constrictor) at 30 and 10 degrees C. Cooling the amphibians produced a reduction in most of the plasma ion concentrations (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+), Cl(-), SO(4)(2)(-)) and in protein concentration because of increased hydration. Between 30 and 10 degrees C, total plasma osmolality fell by 14 % in the toads and by 5 % in the frogs. Plasma protein charge, calculated using the principle of electroneutrality, was unaffected by temperature, except possibly for the toads at 10 degrees C. The in vivo skeletal muscle capdelta pHi/ capdelta T ratio, where pHi is intracellular pH and T is temperature, between 30 and 20 degrees C averaged -0.014 degrees C(-)(1) in the toads and -0.019 degrees C(-)(1) in the frogs. Between 20 and 10 degrees C, there was no change in pHi in the toads and a -0.005 degrees C(-)(1) change in the frogs. The in vitro skeletal muscle capdelta pHi/ capdelta T averaged -0.011 degrees C(-)(1) in both toads and frogs. In all three species, skeletal muscle inulin space declined with cooling. Intracellular ion concentrations were calculated by subtracting extracellular fluid ion concentrations from whole-muscle ion concentrations. In general, temperature had a large effect upon intracellular ion concentrations (Na(+), K(+), Cl(-)) and intracellular CO(2) levels. The relevance of the changes in intracellular ion concentration to skeletal muscle acid-base status and protein charge and the possible mechanisms producing the adjustments in intracellular ion concentration are discussed. It is concluded that ion-exchange mechanisms make an important contribution to adjusting pH with changes in temperature.  (+info)

Disruption of actin impedes transmitter release in snake motor terminals. (8/106)

To investigate the role of actin in vertebrate nerve terminals, nerve-muscle preparations from garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) were treated with the actin-depolymerizing agent latrunculin A. Immunostaining revealed that actin filaments within presynaptic motor terminal boutons were disrupted by the drug. In preparations loaded with the optical probe FM1-43, destaining was reduced by latrunculin treatment, suggesting that transmitter release was partially blocked. Latrunculin treatment did not influence the amplitude or time course of spontaneous miniature endplate potentials (MEPPs). Similarly, endplate potentials (EPPs) evoked at low frequency were comparable in control and latrunculin-treated curarized preparations. Brief tetanic stimulation of the muscle nerve (25 Hz, 90 s) depressed EPP amplitudes in both control and latrunculin-treated preparations. After tetanus, EPPs elicited at 0. 2 Hz in control preparations recovered rapidly (0-5 min) and completely (usually potentiating to above pre-tetanus levels; 130 +/- 11 %, mean +/- s.e.m.). In contrast, EPPs evoked in latrunculin-treated preparations recovered slowly (8-10 min) and incompletely (84 +/- 8 %). The influence of latrunculin on post-tetanic EPPs depended on its concentration in the bath (KD = 3. 1 microM) and on time of incubation. These observations argue that actin filaments facilitate transmitter release rather than impede it. Specifically, actin may facilitate mobilization of vesicles towards the releasable pools.  (+info)