C-fiber depletion alters response properties of neurons in trigeminal nucleus principalis.
The effects of C-fiber depletion induced by neonatal capsaicin treatment on the functional properties of vibrissa-sensitive low-threshold mechanoreceptive (LTM) neurons in the rat trigeminal nucleus principalis were examined in adult rats. Neonatal rats were injected either with capsaicin or its vehicle within 48 h of birth. The depletion of unmyelinated afferents was confirmed by the significant decrease in plasma extravasation of Evan's blue dye induced in the hindlimb skin of capsaicin-treated rats by cutaneous application of mustard oil and by the significant decrease of unmyelinated fibers in both the sciatic and infraorbital nerves. The mechanoreceptive field (RF) and response properties of 31 vibrissa-sensitive neurons in capsaicin-treated rats were compared with those of 32 vibrissa-sensitive neurons in control (untreated or vehicle-treated) rats. The use of electronically controlled mechanical stimuli allowed quantitative analysis of response properties of vibrissa-sensitive neurons; these included the number of center- and surround-RF vibrissae within the RF (i.e., those vibrissae which when stimulated elicited >/=1 and <1 action potential per stimulus, respectively), the response magnitude and latency, and the selectivity of responses to stimulation of vibrissae in different directions with emphasis on combining both the response magnitude and direction of vibrissal deflection in a vector analysis. Neonatal capsaicin treatment was associated with significant increases in the total number of vibrissae, in the number of center-RF vibrissae per neuronal RF, and in the percentage of vibrissa-sensitive neurons that also responded to stimulation of other types of orofacial tissues. Compared with control rats, capsaicin-treated rats showed significant increases in the response magnitude to stimulation of surround-RF vibrissae as well as in response latency variability to stimulation of both center- and surround-RF vibrissae. C-fiber depletion also significantly altered the directional selectivity of responses to stimulation of vibrissae. For neurons with multiple center-RF vibrissae, the proportion of center-RF vibrissae with net vector responses oriented toward the same quadrant was significantly less in capsaicin-treated compared with control rats. These changes in the functional properties of principalis vibrissa-sensitive neurons associated with marked depletion of C-fiber afferents are consistent with similarly induced alterations in LTM neurons studied at other levels of the rodent somatosensory system, and indeed may contribute to alterations previously described in the somatosensory cortex of adult rodents. Furthermore, these results provide additional support to the view that C fibers may have an important role in shaping the functional properties of LTM neurons in central somatosensory pathways. (+info)
Changes in c-Fos expression induced by noxious stimulation in the trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis and C1 spinal neurons of rats after hyperbaric exposure.
The present study aims to test the hypothesis that hyperbaric exposure inhibits nociceptive processing in the trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis and C1 spinal neurons. We investigated the c-Fos-like immunoreactivity of the brainstem and upper cervical spinal cord (C1 region) following an injection of mustard oil (15 microliters of 20%) into the nasal mucosa of pentobarbital anesthetized rats after exposure to hyperbaric (2-atmospheres, 1 h) and normobaric pressures. After the hyperbaric exposure, the mean number of Fos-immunoreactive neurons in the ipsilateral laminae I-II and III-IV of the trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis were significantly lower than those in the normobaric condition. Similarly, the mean number of c-Fos positive neurons in the superficial layer (I-II) of the ipsilateral C1 segment were significantly reduced as compared with that in the normobaric condition. When treated with the vehicle alone, no significant difference was detected in the numbers of c-Fos positive neurons in the trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis and C1 regions between hyperbaric and normobaric conditions. These results suggest that hyperbaric exposure may attenuate nociceptive signals from the area innervated by the trigeminal nerves at the level of both the trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis and C1 dorsal horn. (+info)
DNA polymorphism, haplotype structure and balancing selection in the Leavenworthia PgiC locus.
A study of DNA polymorphism and divergence was conducted for the cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI:E.C.184.108.40.206) gene of five species of the mustard genus Leavenworthia: Leavenworthia stylosa, L. alabamica, L. crassa, L. uniflora, and L. torulosa. Sequences of an internal 2.3-kb PgiC gene region spanning exons 6-16 were obtained from 14 L. stylosa plants from two natural populations and from one to several plants for each of the other species. The level of nucleotide polymorphism in L. stylosa PgiC gene was quite high (pi = 0.051, theta = 0.052). Although recombination is estimated to be high in this locus, extensive haplotype structure was observed for the entire 2.3-kb region. The L. stylosa sequences fall into at least two groups, distinguished by the presence of several indels and nucleotide substitutions, and one of the three charge change nucleotide replacements within the region sequenced correlates with the haplotypes. The differences between the haplotypes are older than between the species, and the haplotypes are still segregating in at least two of five species studied. There is no evidence of recent or ancient population subdivision that could maintain distinct haplotypes. The age of the haplotypes and the results of Kelly's Z(nS) and Wall's B and Q tests with recombination suggest that the haplotypes are maintained due to balancing selection at or near this locus. (+info)
Hypertension and endothelial dysfunction in apolipoprotein E knockout mice.
Mice lacking ApoE (Apoe(-/-)) develop initially hypercholesterolemia and lastly atherosclerosis. This study examined hemodynamics and endothelial function in 6-week-old Apoe(-/-) mice with hypercholesterolemia only, 7.5-months-old Apoe(-/-) mice with both hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis, and age matched controls. One day after implantation of catheters into the carotid artery, arterial pressure was measured in conscious, unrestrained mice. Compared with the respective controls, there was a significant increase in arterial pressure and the ratio of left ventricular weight to body weight in 7.5-month-old Apoe(-/-) mice but not in 6-week-old Apoe(-/-) mice. Histopathological analysis demonstrated significant renal artery disease in the form of extensive atheromatous plaques only in 7.5-month-old Apoe(-/-) mice, whereas no atherosclerotic lesions were found in 6-week-old Apoe(-/-) mice. For evaluation of endothelial function, a laser Doppler perfusion imager with a computer-controlled optical scanner was used to measure cutaneous blood perfusion on the dorsal side of one hind paw before and after topical application of mustard oil, which is known to induce nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation. The mustard oil treatment elicited a substantial increase in blood perfusion (P<0.01), which was similar between 6-week-old Apoe(-/-) mice and controls but significantly blunted in 7.5-month-old Apoe(-/-) mice versus control mice, suggesting nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation is diminished in 7.5-month-old Apoe(-/-) mice but not in 6-week-old Apoe(-/-) mice. In contrast, the increase in blood perfusion induced by topical administration of cilostazol, which induces vasodilation via cyclic adenosine monophosphate, was not different between 7.5-month-old Apoe(-/-) mice and controls. Thus hypertension and endothelial dysfunction observed in 7.5-month-old Apoe(-/-) mice may be due mainly to atherosclerosis. (+info)
Does sympathetic nerve discharge affect the firing of polymodal C-fibre afferents in humans?
Experimental and clinical studies in animals and humans have indicated that nociceptive nerve fibres can acquire sensitivity to norepinephrine after injury or chemical sensitization. To evaluate the functional relevance of such sensitization, we recorded the activity of single polymodal C-fibre afferents in healthy human volunteers and investigated whether intense physiological sympatho-excitation could affect their firing properties. This was studied before and after chemical sensitization of receptive fields by topical application of mustard oil. All afferent C fibres investigated (11 units in 10 subjects) were mechano-heat-sensitive, and four of seven fibres subjected to mustard oil were also chemosensitive. Putative sensitivity to sympathetic stimulation was investigated during low-frequency (0.25 Hz) electrical stimulation of the unit receptive field at a threshold intensity sufficient to evoke an action potential in the afferent fibre after every second to third stimulus. Following a prolonged period of silent rest, sympathoexcitation was elicited by forced mental arithmetic for 60 s, again followed by a long silent rest period. During stress, sympathetic nerve traffic increased to 625 +/- 146% of the control level, while firing of the afferent units remained unchanged. There was no sign of sympathetically mediated direct activation of afferent units and no change in the relative amounts of afferent activations caused by the background electrical stimulation. Results were similar for all units, both before (seven units in six subjects) and after (seven units in seven subjects) chemical sensitization of their cutaneous receptive field. The results suggest that if chemical sensitization of nociceptive C afferent neurons with mustard oil does induce sensitivity to noradrenaline in humans, it is not sufficient to make C nociceptive fibres respond to short-lasting physiological variations in sympathetic outflow. (+info)
Cadmium tolerance and accumulation in Indian mustard is enhanced by overexpressing gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase.
To investigate rate-limiting factors for glutathione and phytochelatin (PC) production and the importance of these compounds for heavy metal tolerance, Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) was genetically engineered to overexpress the Escherichia coli gshI gene encoding gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-ECS), targeted to the plastids. The gamma-ECS transgenic seedlings showed increased tolerance to Cd and had higher concentrations of PCs, gamma-GluCys, glutathione, and total non-protein thiols compared with wild-type (WT) seedlings. When tested in a hydroponic system, gamma-ECS mature plants accumulated more Cd than WT plants: shoot Cd concentrations were 40% to 90% higher. In spite of their higher tissue Cd concentration, the gamma-ECS plants grew better in the presence of Cd than WT. We conclude that overexpression of gamma-ECS increases biosynthesis of glutathione and PCs, which in turn enhances Cd tolerance and accumulation. Thus, overexpression of gamma-ECS appears to be a promising strategy for the production of plants with superior heavy metal phytoremediation capacity. (+info)
The multisubunit chloroplast RNA polymerase A from mustard (Sinapis alba L.). Integration of a prokaryotic core into a larger complex with organelle-specific functions.
We previously identified two multisubunit plastid RNA polymerases termed A and B. The B enzyme has a bacterial-type polypeptide composition and is sensitive to the prokaryotic transcription inhibitor rifampicin (Rif); the A enzyme has a more complex subunit structure and is Rif-resistant. Here we report results of N-terminal sequencing and MS carried out with the A enzyme, which establish that the latter contains rpo gene products and is structurally related to the B enzyme. Furthermore, evidence is provided that the A enzyme can be converted into a Rif-sensitive enzyme form in a phosphorylation-dependent manner in vitro by a treatment that results in depletion of a beta-like subunit. Database searches using sequence information derived from additional polypeptides that are present in purified A preparations revealed sequence similarity with chloroplast proteins involved in RNA processing and redox control. This proteomics approach thus points to the complexity of the chloroplast transcription apparatus and its interconnections with post-transcriptional and signalling mechanisms. (+info)
Leakage-resistant blood vessels in mice transgenically overexpressing angiopoietin-1.
Angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are endothelial cell-specific growth factors. Direct comparison of transgenic mice overexpressing these factors in the skin revealed that the VEGF-induced blood vessels were leaky, whereas those induced by Ang1 were nonleaky. Moreover, vessels in Ang1-overexpressing mice were resistant to leaks caused by inflammatory agents. Coexpression of Ang1 and VEGF had an additive effect on angiogenesis but resulted in leakage-resistant vessels typical of Ang1. Ang1 therefore may be useful for reducing microvascular leakage in diseases in which the leakage results from chronic inflammation or elevated VEGF and, in combination with VEGF, for promoting growth of nonleaky vessels. (+info)