Regulation of neurotrophin-3 expression by epithelial-mesenchymal interactions: the role of Wnt factors. (1/5514)

Neurotrophins regulate survival, axonal growth, and target innervation of sensory and other neurons. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is expressed specifically in cells adjacent to extending axons of dorsal root ganglia neurons, and its absence results in loss of most of these neurons before their axons reach their targets. However, axons are not required for NT-3 expression in limbs; instead, local signals from ectoderm induce NT-3 expression in adjacent mesenchyme. Wnt factors expressed in limb ectoderm induce NT-3 in the underlying mesenchyme. Thus, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions mediated by Wnt factors control NT-3 expression and may regulate axonal growth and guidance.  (+info)

Plasticity of first-order sensory synapses: interactions between homosynaptic long-term potentiation and heterosynaptically evoked dopaminergic potentiation. (2/5514)

Persistent potentiations of the chemical and electrotonic components of the eighth nerve (NVIII) EPSP recorded in vivo in the goldfish reticulospinal neuron, the Mauthner cell, can be evoked by afferent tetanization or local dendritic application of an endogenous transmitter, dopamine (3-hydroxytyramine). These modifications are attributable to the activation of distinct intracellular kinase cascades. Although dopamine-evoked potentiation (DEP) is mediated by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), tetanization most likely activates a Ca2+-dependent protein kinase via an increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration. We present evidence that the eighth nerve tetanus that induces LTP does not act by triggering dopamine release, because it is evoked in the presence of a broad spectrum of dopamine antagonists. To test for interactions between these pathways, we applied the potentiating paradigms sequentially. When dopamine was applied first, tetanization produced additional potentiation of the mixed synaptic response, but when the sequence was reversed, DEP was occluded, indicating that the synapses potentiated by the two procedures belong to the same or overlapping populations. Experiments were conducted to determine interactions between the underlying regulatory mechanisms and the level of their convergence. Inhibiting PKA does not impede tetanus-induced LTP, and chelating postsynaptic Ca2+ with BAPTA does not block DEP, indicating that the initial steps of the induction processes are independent. Pharmacological and voltage-clamp analyses indicate that the two pathways converge on functional AMPA/kainate receptors for the chemically mediated EPSP and gap junctions for the electrotonic component or at intermediaries common to both pathways. A cellular model incorporating these interactions is proposed on the basis of differential modulation of synaptic responses via receptor-protein phosphorylation.  (+info)

Neural mapping of direction and frequency in the cricket cercal sensory system. (3/5514)

Primary mechanosensory receptors and interneurons in the cricket cercal sensory system are sensitive to the direction and frequency of air current stimuli. Receptors innervating long mechanoreceptor hairs (>1000 microm) are most sensitive to low-frequency air currents (<150 Hz); receptors innervating medium-length hairs (900-500 microm) are most sensitive to higher frequency ranges (150-400 Hz). Previous studies demonstrated that the projection pattern of the synaptic arborizations of long hair receptor afferents form a continuous map of air current direction within the terminal abdominal ganglion (). We demonstrate here that the projection pattern of the medium-length hair afferents also forms a continuous map of stimulus direction. However, the afferents from the long and medium-length hair afferents show very little spatial segregation with respect to their frequency sensitivity. The possible functional significance of this small degree of spatial segregation was investigated, by calculating the relative overlap between the long and medium-length hair afferents with the dendrites of two interneurons that are known to have different frequency sensitivities. Both interneurons were shown to have nearly equal anatomical overlap with long and medium hair afferents. Thus, the differential overlap of these interneurons with the two different classes of afferents was not adequate to explain the observed frequency selectivity of the interneurons. Other mechanisms such as selective connectivity between subsets of afferents and interneurons and/or differences in interneuron biophysical properties must play a role in establishing the frequency selectivities of these interneurons.  (+info)

Differential expression of the mRNA for the vanilloid receptor subtype 1 in cells of the adult rat dorsal root and nodose ganglia and its downregulation by axotomy. (4/5514)

Sensitivity to the pungent vanilloid, capsaicin, defines a subpopulation of primary sensory neurons that are mainly polymodal nociceptors. The recently cloned vanilloid receptor subtype 1 (VR1) is activated by capsaicin and noxious heat. Using combined in situ hybridization and histochemical methods, we have characterized in sensory ganglia the expression of VR1 mRNA. We show that this receptor is almost exclusively expressed by neurofilament-negative small- and medium-sized dorsal root ganglion cells. Within this population, VR1 mRNA is detected at widely varying levels in both the NGF receptor (trkA)-positive, peptide-producing cells that elicit neurogenic inflammation and the functionally less characterized glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-responsive cells that bind lectin Griffonia simplicifolia isolectin B4 (IB4). Cells without detectable levels of VR1 mRNA are found in both classes. A subpopulation of the IB4-binding cells that produce somatostatin has relatively low levels of VR1 mRNA. A previously uncharacterized population of very small cells that express the receptor tyrosine kinase (RET) and that do not label for trkA or IB4-binding has the highest relative levels of VR1 mRNA. The majority of small visceral sensory neurons of the nodose ganglion also express VR1 mRNA, in conjunction with the BDNF receptor trkB but not trkA. Axotomy results in the downregulation of VR1 mRNA in dorsal root ganglion cells. Our data emphasize the heterogeneity of VR1 mRNA expression by subclasses of small sensory neurons, and this may result in their differential sensitivity to chemical and noxious heat stimuli. Our results also indicate that peripherally derived trophic factors may regulate levels of VR1 mRNA.  (+info)

Localization of sympathetic, parasympathetic and sensory neurons innervating the heart of the Beijing duck by means of the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase. (5/5514)

Sympathetic, parasympathetic and sensory neurons were labeled by injections of horseradish peroxidase into various regions of the heart in 33 Beijing ducks. Sympathetic postganglionic neurons innervating the heart were located in the paravertebral ganglia C15 (C16 is the last cervical segment in the duck) to T3, especially in the ganglion T1. The coronary sulcus and ventricle were more abundantly innervated by sympathetic neurons than the atrium. The left side of the heart was preferentially innervated by sympathetic postganglionic neurons in the left side of paravertebral ganglia but the right side of the heart were equally supplied from the right and left ganglia. Within the medulla oblongata, the number of labeled vagal preganglionic neurons in the nucleus ambiguus was much greater than that in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve. Labeled neurons of the nucleus ambiguus were found in many ducks injected into the coronary sulcus. Cardiac sensory neurons were observed in the dorsal root ganglia C15 to T2 (highest in the ganglion T1) and in the nodose and jugular ganglia of the vagus nerve. These labeled neurons probably form the afferent and efferent limbs of cardiac reflexes and control circulation in the Beijing duck.  (+info)

The posterior nasal nerve plays an important role on cardiopulmonary reflexes to nasal application of capsaicin, distilled water and l-menthol in anesthetized dogs. (6/5514)

The sensory innervation of the cardiopulmonary reflexes to nasal application of capsaicin (CAPS), distilled water (DW) and l-menthol (LM) was studied in anesthetized dogs breathing through tracheostomy. A marked cardiopulmonary reflex was observed by CAPS and DW into the nasal cavity, while a prolongation of expiration was induced by LM. All these reflexes were significantly decreased by bilateral section of the posterior nasal nerve (PNN) and completely abolished by topical nasal anesthesia with lidocaine. Responses of the whole nerve activity of the PNN to these substances corresponded to the magnitude of the reflexes. These results indicate that PNN afferents play an important role on the reflex elicitation of the noxious, water and cold stimuli from the nasal cavity.  (+info)

Mechanisms for generating the autonomous cAMP-dependent protein kinase required for long-term facilitation in Aplysia. (7/5514)

The formation of a persistently active cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is critical for establishing long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF) in Aplysia. The injection of bovine catalytic (C) subunits into sensory neurons is sufficient to produce protein synthesis-dependent LTF. Early in the LTF induced by serotonin (5-HT), an autonomous PKA is generated through the ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated proteolysis of regulatory (R) subunits. The degradation of R occurs during an early time window and appears to be a key function of proteasomes in LTF. Lactacystin, a specific proteasome inhibitor, blocks the facilitation induced by 5-HT, and this block is rescued by injecting C subunits. R is degraded through an allosteric mechanism requiring an elevation of cAMP coincident with the induction of a ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase.  (+info)

Electrophysiological evidence for tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels in slowly conducting dural sensory fibers. (8/5514)

A tetrodotoxin (TTX)-resistant sodium channel was recently identified that is expressed only in small diameter neurons of peripheral sensory ganglia. The peripheral axons of sensory neurons appear to lack this channel, but its presence has not been investigated in peripheral nerve endings, the site of sensory transduction in vivo. We investigated the effect of TTX on mechanoresponsiveness in nerve endings of sensory neurons that innervate the intracranial dura. Because the degree of TTX resistance of axonal branches could potentially be affected by factors other than channel subtype, the neurons were also tested for sensitivity to lidocaine, which blocks both TTX-sensitive and TTX-resistant sodium channels. Single-unit activity was recorded from dural afferent neurons in the trigeminal ganglion of urethan-anesthetized rats. Response thresholds to mechanical stimulation of the dura were determined with von Frey monofilaments while exposing the dura to progressively increasing concentrations of TTX or lidocaine. Neurons with slowly conducting axons were relatively resistant to TTX. Application of 1 microM TTX produced complete suppression of mechanoresponsiveness in all (11/11) fast A-delta units [conduction velocity (c.v.) 5-18 m/s] but only 50% (5/10) of slow A-delta units (1.5 +info)