Effect of upper airway negative pressure on proprioceptive afferents from the tongue.
We examined whether receptors in the tongue muscle respond to negative upper airway pressure (NUAP). In six cats, one hypoglossal nerve was cut and its distal end was prepared for single-fiber recording. Twelve afferent fibers were selected for study on the basis of their sensitivity to passive stretch (PS) of the tongue. Fiber discharge frequency was measured during PS of the tongue and after the rapid onset of constant NUAP. During PS of 1-3 cm, firing frequency increased from 17 +/- 7 to 40 +/- 11 (SE) Hz (P < 0.01). In addition, 8 of the 12 fibers responded to NUAP (-10 to -30 cmH2O), with firing frequency increasing from 23 +/- 9 to 41 +/- 9 Hz (P < 0.001). In two fibers tested, the increase in firing frequency in response to NUAP was not altered by topical anesthesia (10% lignocaine) applied liberally to the entire upper airway mucosa. Our results demonstrate that afferent discharges from the hypoglossal nerve are elicited by 1) stretching of the tongue and 2) NUAP before and after upper airway anesthesia. We speculate that activation of proprioceptive mechanoreceptors in the cat's tongue provides an additional pathway for the reflex activation of upper airway dilator muscles in response to NUAP, independent of superficially located mucosal mechanoreceptors. (+info)
Contribution of single-channel properties to the time course and amplitude variance of quantal glycine currents recorded in rat motoneurons.
The amplitude of spontaneous, glycinergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) recorded in hypoglossal motoneurons (HMs) in an in vitro brain stem slice preparation increased over the first 3 postnatal weeks, from 42 +/- 6 pA in neonate (P0-3) to 77 +/- 11 pA in juvenile (P11-18) HMs. Additionally, mIPSC amplitude distributions were highly variable: CV 0.68 +/- 0.05 (means +/- SE) for neonates and 0.83 +/- 0.06 for juveniles. We wished to ascertain the contribution of glycine receptor (GlyR)-channel properties to this change in quantal amplitude and to the amplitude variability and time course of mIPSCs. To determine whether a postnatal increase in GlyR-channel conductance accounted for the postnatal change in quantal amplitude, the conductance of synaptic GlyR channels was determined by nonstationary variance analysis of mIPSCs. It was 48 +/- 8 pS in neonate and 46 +/- 10 pS in juvenile HMs, suggesting that developmental changes in mIPSC amplitude do not result from a postnatal alteration of GlyR-channel conductance. Next we determined the open probability (Popen) of GlyR channels in outside-out patches excised from HMs to estimate the contribution of stochastic channel behavior to quantal amplitude variability. Brief (1 ms) pulses of glycine (1 mM) elicited patch currents that closely resembled mIPSCs. The GlyR channels' Popen, calculated by nonstationary variance analysis of these currents, was approximately 0.70 (0.66 +/- 0.09 in neonates and 0.72 +/- 0.05 in juveniles). The decay rate of patch currents elicited by brief application of saturating concentrations of glycine (10 mM) increased postnatally, mimicking previously documented changes in mIPSC time course. Paired pulses of glycine (10 mM) were used to determine if rapid GlyR-channel desensitization contributed to either patch current time course or quantal amplitude variability. Because we did not observe any fast desensitization of patch currents, we believe that fast desensitization of GlyRs underlies neither phenomenon. From our analysis of glycinergic patch currents and mIPSCs, we draw three conclusions. First, channel deactivation is the primary determinant of glycinergic mIPSC time course, and postnatal changes in channel deactivation rate account for observed developmental changes in mIPSC decay rate. Second, because GlyR-channel Popen is high, differences in receptor number between synapses rather than stochastic channel behavior are likely to underlie the majority of quantal variability seen at glycinergic synapses throughout postnatal development. We estimate the number of GlyRs available at a synapse to be on average 27 in neonate neurons and 39 in juvenile neurons. Third, this change in the calculated number of GlyRs at each synapse may account for the postnatal increase in mIPSC amplitude. (+info)
Isolated dysarthria due to extracerebellar lacunar stroke: a central monoparesis of the tongue.
OBJECTIVES: The pathophysiology of dysarthria can preferentially be studied in patients with the rare lacunar stroke syndrome of "isolated dysarthria". METHODS: A single study was carried out on seven consecutive patients with sudden onset of isolated dysarthria due to single ischaemic lesion. The localisation of the lesion was identified using MRI. The corticolingual, cortico-orofacial, and corticospinal tract functions were investigated using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Corticopontocerebellar tract function was assessed using 99mTc hexamethylpropylene amine oxime-single photon emission computerised tomography (HMPAO-SPECT) in six patients. Sensory functions were evaluated clinically and by somatosensory evoked potentials. RESULTS: Brain MRI showed the lesions to be located in the corona radiata (n=4) and the internal capsule (n=2). No morphological lesion was identified in one patient. Corticolingual tract function was impaired in all patients. In four patients with additional cortico-orofacial tract dysfunction, dysarthria did not differ from that in patients with isolated corticolingual tract dysfunction. Corticospinal tract functions were normal in all patients. HMPAO-SPECT showed no cerebellar diaschisis, suggesting unimpaired corticopontocerebellar tract function. Sensory functions were not affected. CONCLUSION: Interruption of the corticolingual pathways to the tongue is crucial in the pathogenesis of isolated dysarthria after extracerebellar lacunar stroke. (+info)
Neuromuscular control of prey capture in frogs.
While retaining a feeding apparatus that is surprisingly conservative morphologically, frogs as a group exhibit great variability in the biomechanics of tongue protraction during prey capture, which in turn is related to differences in neuromuscular control. In this paper, I address the following three questions. (1) How do frog tongues differ biomechanically? (2) What anatomical and physiological differences are responsible? (3) How is biomechanics related to mechanisms of neuromuscular control? Frog species use three non-exclusive mechanisms to protract their tongues during feeding: (i) mechanical pulling, in which the tongue shortens as its muscles contract during protraction; (ii) inertial elongation, in which the tongue lengthens under inertial and muscular loading; and (iii) hydrostatic elongation, in which the tongue lengthens under constraints imposed by the constant volume of a muscular hydrostat. Major differences among these functional types include (i) the amount and orientation of collagen fibres associated with the tongue muscles and the mechanical properties that this connective tissue confers to the tongue as a whole; and (ii) the transfer of intertia from the opening jaws to the tongue, which probably involves a catch mechanism that increases the acceleration achieved during mouth opening. The mechanisms of tongue protraction differ in the types of neural mechanisms that are used to control tongue movements, particularly in the relative importance of feed-forward versus feedback control, in requirements for precise interjoint coordination, in the size and number of motor units, and in the afferent pathways that are involved in coordinating tongue and jaw movements. Evolution of biomechanics and neuromuscular control of frog tongues provides an example in which neuromuscular control is finely tuned to the biomechanical constraints and opportunities provided by differences in morphological design among species. (+info)
Effects of large excitatory and inhibitory inputs on motoneuron discharge rate and probability.
We elicited repetitive discharge in hypoglossal motoneurons recorded in slices of rat brain stem using a combination of a suprathreshold injected current step with superimposed noise to mimic the synaptic drive likely to occur during physiological activation. The effects of repetitive en mass stimulation of afferent nerves were simulated by the further addition of trains of injected current transients of varying shapes and sizes. The effects of a given current transient on motoneuron discharge timing and discharge rate were measured by calculating a peristimulus time histogram (PSTH) and a peristimulus frequencygram (PSF). The amplitude and time course of the simulated postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) produced by the current transients were calculated by convolving the current transient with an estimate of the passive impulse response of the motoneuron. We then compared the shape of the injected current transient and the simulated PSP to the profiles of the PSTH and the PSF records. The PSTHs produced by excitatory PSPs (EPSPs) were characterized by a large, short-latency increase in firing probability that lasted slightly longer than the rising phase of the EPSP, followed by a reduced discharge probability during the falling phase of the EPSP. In contrast, the PSF analysis revealed a proportionate increase in discharge rate over the entire profile of the EPSP, even though relatively few spikes occurred during the falling phase. The PSTHs associated with inhibitory PSPs (IPSPs) indicated a reduction in discharge probability during the initial, hyperpolarizing phase of the IPSP, followed by an increase in the discharge probability during its subsequent repolarizing phase. Using the PSF analysis, the initial phase of the IPSP appeared as a large hole in the record where a very small number or no discharges occurred. The subsequent phase of the IPSP was associated with frequency values that were lower than the background values. The primary features of both PSTHs and PSFs can be used to estimate the relative amplitudes of the underlying EPSPs and IPSPs. However, PSTHs contain secondary peaks and troughs that are not directly related to the underlying PSP but instead reflect the regular recurrence of spikes following those affected by the PSP. The PSF analysis is more useful for indicating the total duration and the profile of the underlying PSP. The shape of the underlying PSP can be obtained directly from the PSF records because the discharge frequency of the spikes follow the PSPs very closely, especially for EPSPs. (+info)
Effect of co-activation of tongue protrudor and retractor muscles on tongue movements and pharyngeal airflow mechanics in the rat.
1. The purpose of these experiments was to examine the mechanisms by which either co-activation or independent activation of tongue protrudor and retractor muscles influence upper airway flow mechanics. We studied the influence of selective hypoglossal (XIIth) nerve stimulation on tongue movements and flow mechanics in anaesthetized rats that were prepared with an isolated upper airway. In this preparation, both nasal and oral flow pathways are available. 2. Inspiratory flow limitation was achieved by rapidly lowering hypopharyngeal pressure (Php) with a vacuum pump, and the maximal rate of flow (VI,max) and the nasopharyngeal pressure associated with flow limitation (Pcrit) were measured. These experimental trials were repeated while nerve branches innervating tongue protrudor (genioglossus; medial XIIth nerve branch) and retractor (hyoglossus and styloglossus; lateral XIIth nerve branch) muscles were stimulated either simultaneously or independently at frequencies ranging from 20-100 Hz. Co-activating the protrudor and retractor muscles produced tongue retraction, whereas independently activating the genioglossus resulted in tongue protrusion. 3. Co-activation of tongue protrudor and retractor muscles increased VI, max (peak increase 44 %, P < 0.05), made Pcrit more negative (peak decrease of 44 %, P < 0.05), and did not change upstream nasopharyngeal resistance (Rn). Independent protrudor muscle stimulation increased VI,max (peak increase 61 %, P < 0.05), did not change Pcrit, and decreased Rn (peak decrease of 41 %, P < 0.05). Independent retractor muscle stimulation did not significantly alter flow mechanics. Changes in Pcrit and VI,max at all stimulation frequencies were significantly correlated during co-activation of protrudor and retractor muscles (r2 = 0.63, P < 0.05), but not during independent protrudor muscle stimulation (r2 = 0.09). 4. These findings indicate that either co-activation of protrudor and retractor muscles or independent activation of protrudor muscles can improve upper airway flow mechanics, although the underlying mechanisms are different. We suggest that co-activation decreases pharyngeal collapsibility but does not dilate the pharyngeal airway. In contrast, unopposed tongue protrusion dilates the oropharynx, but has a minimal effect on pharyngeal airway collapsibility. (+info)
Cotransmission of GABA and glycine to brain stem motoneurons.
Using whole cell patch-clamp recording in a rat brain stem slice preparation, we found that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine act as cotransmitters to hypoglossal motoneurons (HMs). Focal application of GABA and glycine onto a single HM revealed that GABAA and glycine receptors are present on the same neuron. To demonstrate that HMs receive both GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic inputs, we simultaneously recorded GABAA- and glycine-receptor-mediated spontaneous miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in single HMs. GABAergic and glycinergic mIPSCs were differentiated based on their kinetics and modulation by pentobarbital. Specifically, GABAA-receptor-mediated events decayed more slowly than glycine-receptor-mediated events. GABAergic response decay kinetics were prolonged by pentobarbital, whereas glycinergic response decay kinetics remained unchanged. The distinct kinetics of the glycine- and GABAA-receptor-mediated synaptic events allowed us to record dual component mIPSCs, mIPSCs that are mediated by both receptor types. These data suggest that GABA and glycine are colocalized in the same presynaptic vesicle and are coreleased from presynaptic terminals opposed to motoneurons. (+info)
Prevention of the death of the rat axotomized hypoglossal nerve and promotion of its regeneration by bovine brain gangliosides.
We have examined the time course of the neuronal death and regeneration of rat axotomized hypoglossal nerve with various conditions of the nerve resection, and established a useful system to measure neurotrophic activities of bioactive substances. In this system, neuronal death can be evaluated by counting surviving neurons in the nucleus of hypoglossal neuron at the brain stem, and the degree of the regeneration can be measured by counting horseradish peroxidase-positive cells at the same region after injection of horseradish peroxidase into tongue. Using this system, the effects of brain gangliosides on rat hypoglossal nerve regeneration following 5 mm transection were examined. The addition of a ganglioside mixture from bovine brain as well as the autograft strongly prevented the death of neurons and promoted the regeneration of the lesioned nerve at 10 weeks after the operation. Further analyses on the dose effects and injection sites of gangliosides were performed. Although the mechanisms of the neurotrophic effects of the gangliosides are unknown, the therapeutic application of gangliosides for neuronal degeneration is a promising approach. (+info)