(1/41636) Sex differences in the effects of early neocortical injury on neuronal size distribution of the medial geniculate nucleus in the rat are mediated by perinatal gonadal steroids.

Freezing injury to the cortical plate of rats induces cerebrocortical microgyria and, in males but not females, a shift toward greater numbers of small neurons in the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN). The purpose of the current study was to examine a hormonal basis for this sex difference. Cross-sectional neuronal areas of the MGN were measured in male rats, untreated female rats and female rats treated perinatally with testosterone propionate, all of which had received either neonatal cortical freezing or sham injury. Both male and androgenized female rats with microgyria had significantly smaller MGN neurons when compared to their sham-operated counterparts, whereas untreated females with microgyria did not. These differences were also reflected in MGN neuronal size distribution: both male and androgenized female rats with microgyria had more small and fewer large neurons in their MGN in comparison to shams, while there was no difference in MGN neuronal size distribution between lesioned and sham females. These findings suggest that perinatal gonadal steroids mediate the sex difference in thalamic response to induction of microgyria in the rat cortex.  (+info)

(2/41636) Activation of alveolar macrophages in lung injury associated with experimental acute pancreatitis is mediated by the liver.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate (1) whether alveolar macrophages are activated as a consequence of acute pancreatitis (AP), (2) the implication of inflammatory factors released by these macrophages in the process of neutrophil migration into the lungs observed in lung injury induced by AP, and (3) the role of the liver in the activation of alveolar macrophages. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Acute lung injury is the extrapancreatic complication most frequently associated with death and complications in severe AP. Neutrophil infiltration into the lungs seems to be related to the release of systemic and local mediators. The liver and alveolar macrophages are sources of mediators that have been suggested to participate in the lung damage associated with AP. METHODS: Pancreatitis was induced in rats by intraductal administration of 5% sodium taurocholate. The inflammatory process in the lung and the activation of alveolar macrophages were investigated in animals with and without portocaval shunting 3 hours after AP induction. Alveolar macrophages were obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage. The generation of nitric oxide, leukotriene B4, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and MIP-2 by alveolar macrophages and the chemotactic activity of supernatants of cultured macrophages were evaluated. RESULTS: Pancreatitis was associated with increased infiltration of neutrophils into the lungs 3 hours after induction. This effect was prevented by the portocaval shunt. Alveolar macrophages obtained after induction of pancreatitis generated increased levels of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and MIP-2, but not leukotriene B4. In addition, supernatants of these macrophages exhibited a chemotactic activity for neutrophils when instilled into the lungs of unmanipulated animals. All these effects were abolished when portocaval shunting was carried out before induction of pancreatitis. CONCLUSION: Lung damage induced by experimental AP is associated with alveolar macrophage activation. The liver mediates the alveolar macrophage activation in this experimental model.  (+info)

(3/41636) Examination of the transverse tubular system in living cardiac rat myocytes by 2-photon microscopy and digital image-processing techniques.

The transverse tubular system (t-system) of cardiac muscle is a structure that allows rapid propagation of excitation into the cell interior. Using 2-photon molecular excitation microscopy and digital image-processing methods, we have obtained a comprehensive overview of the t-system of rat ventricular myocytes in living cells. We show that it is possible to quantify the morphology of the t-system in terms of average local tubule diameter, branching pattern, and local abundance of the t-system by immersing living myocytes in a dextran-linked fluorescein solution. Our data suggest that previous electron microscopic examinations of t-system structure have underestimated both the geometric complexity of the t-system morphology and the fraction of cell volume occupied by the t-system (3.6% in this species). About 40% of tubules occur between Z-lines, and the t-tubule diameter is 255+/-0.85 nm (mean+/-SEM). The t-tubules leave the outer surface of the cell in an approximately rectangular array; however, at some points junctions between the t-tubules and the surface membrane are missing. In view of the complexity of the t-system apparent from our images, we propose that the t-system be renamed the "sarcolemmal Z rete." The methods presented here are generally applicable to the quantification of the sarcolemmal Z rete and other structures within cells by fluorescence microscopy in a variety of cell types.  (+info)

(4/41636) Induction of serotonin transporter by hypoxia in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells. Relationship with the mitogenic action of serotonin.

-The increased delivery of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) to the lung aggravates the development of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats, possibly through stimulation of the proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PA-SMCs). In cultured rat PA-SMCs, 5-HT (10(-8) to 10(-6) mol/L) induced DNA synthesis and potentiated the mitogenic effect of platelet-derived growth factor-BB (10 ng/mL). This effect was dependent on the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT), since it was prevented by the 5-HTT inhibitors fluoxetine (10(-6) mol/L) and paroxetine (10(-7) mol/L), but it was unaltered by ketanserin (10(-6) mol/L), a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist. In PA-SMCs exposed to hypoxia, the levels of 5-HTT mRNA (measured by competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) increased by 240% within 2 hours, followed by a 3-fold increase in the uptake of [3H]5-HT at 24 hours. Cotransfection of the cells with a construct of human 5-HTT promoter-luciferase gene reporter and of pCMV-beta-galactosidase gene allowed the demonstration that exposure of cells to hypoxia produced a 5.5-fold increase in luciferase activity, with no change in beta-galactosidase activity. The increased expression of 5-HTT in hypoxic cells was associated with a greater mitogenic response to 5-HT (10(-8) to 10(-6) mol/L) in the absence as well as in the presence of platelet-derived growth factor-BB. 5-HTT expression assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization in the lungs was found to predominate in the media of pulmonary artery, in which a marked increase was noted in rats that had been exposed to hypoxia for 15 days. These data show that in vitro and in vivo exposure to hypoxia induces, via a transcriptional mechanism, 5-HTT expression in PA-SMCs, and that this effect contributes to the stimulatory action of 5-HT on PA-SMC proliferation. In vivo expression of 5-HTT by PA-SMC may play a key role in serotonin-mediated pulmonary vascular remodeling.  (+info)

(5/41636) Evidence for a vasopressin system in the rat heart.

Traditionally, a hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system is thought to be the exclusive source of arginine vasopressin (AVP), a potent antidiuretic, vasoconstricting, and growth-stimulating neuropeptide. We have identified de novo synthesis of AVP in the heart as well as release of the hormone into the cardiac effluents. Specifically, molecular cloning of sequence tags amplified from isolated, buffer-perfused, and pressure-overloaded rat hearts allowed the detection of cardiac AVP mRNA. Subsequent experiments revealed a prominent induction of AVP mRNA (peak at 120 minutes, 59-fold, P<0. 01 versus baseline) and peptide (peak at 120 minutes, 11-fold, P<0. 01 versus baseline) in these isolated hearts. Newly induced vasopressin peptide was localized most prominently to endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells of arterioles and perivascular tissue using immunohistochemistry. In addition to pressure overload, nitric oxide (NO) participated in these alterations, because inhibition of NO synthase by Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester markedly depressed cardiac AVP mRNA and peptide induction. Immediate cardiac effects related to cardiac AVP induction in isolated, perfused, pressure-overloaded hearts appeared to be coronary vasoconstriction and impaired relaxation. These functional changes were observed in parallel with AVP induction and largely prevented by addition of a V1 receptor blocker (10(-8) mol/L [deamino-Pen1, O-Me-Tyr2, Arg8]-vasopressin) to the perfusion buffer. Even more interesting, pressure-overloaded, isolated hearts released the peptide into the coronary effluents, offering the potential for systemic actions of AVP from cardiac origin. We conclude that the heart, stressed by acute pressure overload or NO, expresses vasopressin in concentrations sufficient to cause local and potentially systemic effects.  (+info)

(6/41636) Role of nitric oxide-cGMP pathway in adrenomedullin-induced vasodilation in the rat.

We previously reported that adrenomedullin (AM), a potent vasodilator peptide discovered in pheochromocytoma cells, stimulates nitric oxide (NO) release in the rat kidney. To further investigate whether the NO-cGMP pathway is involved in the mechanisms of AM-induced vasodilation, we examined the effects of E-4021, a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, on AM-induced vasorelaxation in aortic rings and perfused kidneys isolated from Wistar rats. We also measured NO release from the kidneys using a chemiluminescence assay. AM (10(-10) to 10(-7) mol/L) relaxed the aorta precontracted with phenylephrine in a dose-dependent manner. Denudation of endothelium (E) attenuated the vasodilatory action of AM (10(-7) mol/L AM: intact (E+) -25.7+/-5.2% versus denuded (E-) -7. 8+/-0.6%, P<0.05). On the other hand, pretreatment with 10(-8) mol/L E-4021 augmented AM-induced vasorelaxation in the intact aorta (-49. 0+/-7.9%, P<0.05) but not in the denuded one. E-4021 also enhanced acetylcholine (ACh)-induced vasorelaxation in the rat intact aorta (10(-7) mol/L ACh -36.6+/-8.4% versus 10(-8) mol/L E-4021+10(-7) mol/L ACh -62.7+/-3.1%, P<0.05). In perfused kidneys, AM-induced vasorelaxation was also augmented by preincubation with E-4021 (10(-9) mol/L AM -15.4+/-0.6% versus 10(-8) mol/L E-4021+10(-9) mol/L AM -23.6+/-1.2%, P<0.01). AM significantly increased NO release from rat kidneys (DeltaNO: +11.3+/-0.8 fmol. min-1. g-1 kidney at 10(-9) mol/L AM), which was not affected by E-4021. E-4021 enhanced ACh-induced vasorelaxation (10(-9) mol/L ACh -9.7+/-1.7% versus 10(-8) mol/L E-4021+10(-9) mol/L ACh -18.8+/-2.9%, P<0.01) but did not affect ACh-induced NO release from the kidneys. In the aorta and the kidney, 10(-4) mol/L of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, an NO synthase inhibitor, and 10(-5) mol/L of methylene blue, a guanylate cyclase inhibitor, reduced the vasodilatory effect of AM. These results suggest that the NO-cGMP pathway is involved in the mechanism of AM-induced vasorelaxation, at least in the rat aorta and kidney.  (+info)

(7/41636) Developmental synaptic changes increase the range of integrative capabilities of an identified excitatory neocortical connection.

Excitatory synaptic transmission between pyramidal cells and fast-spiking (FS) interneurons of layer V of the motor cortex was investigated in acute slices by using paired recordings at 30 degrees C combined with morphological analysis. The presynaptic and postsynaptic properties at these identified central synapses were compared between 3- and 5-week-old rats. At these two postnatal developmental stages, unitary EPSCs were mediated by the activation of AMPA receptors with fast kinetics at a holding potential of -72 mV. The amplitude distribution analysis of the EPSCs indicates that, at both stages, pyramidal-FS connections consisted of multiple functional release sites. The apparent quantal size obtained by decreasing the external calcium ([Ca2+]e) varied from 11 to 29 pA near resting membrane potential. In young rats, pairs of presynaptic action potentials elicited unitary synaptic responses that displayed paired-pulse depression at all tested frequencies. In older animals, inputs from different pyramidal cells onto the same FS interneuron had different paired-pulse response characteristics and, at most of these connections, a switch from depression to facilitation occurred when decreasing the rate of presynaptic stimulation. The balance between facilitation and depression endows pyramidal-FS connections from 5-week-old animals with wide integrative capabilities and confers unique functional properties to each synapse.  (+info)

(8/41636) 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.

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)