Cellular heterogeneity within the solitary tract nucleus and visceral afferent processing - Electrophysiological approaches to discerning pathway performance

Michael Andresen, Timothy W. Bailey, Young Ho Jin, Stuart J. McDougall, James H. Peters, Sue Aicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many homeostatic reflexes depend on autonomic central nervous system mechanisms to systemically coordinate visceral organ function. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is the common entry of cranial visceral afferents into these regulatory pathways. Such NTS neurons initiate adjustments in cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and other visceral systems. Diversity of neurons within the NTS appears integral to such processing but is daunting to approach experimentally. This review outlines three experimental approaches to understanding cellular heterogeneity within NTS and its relation to function. Brainstem slice preparations coupled with patch recordings afford cellular-molecular resolution with substantial links to the more intact system. Pharmacological approaches based on visceral afferent phenotype have helped identify myelinated and unmyelinated solitary tract inputs to NTS neurons. An interesting outcome has been the robust association of A-type potassium currents with NTS neurons receiving unmyelinated afferents. Neuroanatomical tracers offer a second, complementary approach. Anterograde transport of fluorescent dye identifies cranial visceral afferent terminals on second order neurons that cluster on or proximal to the soma - a highly unusual distribution in the central nervous system. Thus, second order baroreceptive neurons can be identified neuroanatomically in vitro. Equally helpful has been identification of NTS projection neurons by retrograde tracers injected into target regions of the hypothalamus or brainstem and this approach indicates substantial specialization - relative homogeneous neurons within the overall heterogeneity of NTS. Lastly, transgenic mouse strains, particularly those expressing marker chromophores, have identified phenotypic subtypes such as GABAergic inhibitory neurons within NTS. Combined methodologies are forging new understanding of NTS and autonomic regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalTzu Chi Medical Journal
Volume19
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

Visceral Afferents
Solitary Nucleus
Neurons
Brain Stem
Central Nervous System
Social Adjustment
GABAergic Neurons
Autonomic Nervous System
Carisoprodol
Fluorescent Dyes
Transgenic Mice
Hypothalamus
Reflex
Potassium
Pharmacology
Phenotype

Keywords

  • C-fiber
  • Parasympathetic
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • Sensory
  • Vagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Cellular heterogeneity within the solitary tract nucleus and visceral afferent processing - Electrophysiological approaches to discerning pathway performance. / Andresen, Michael; Bailey, Timothy W.; Jin, Young Ho; McDougall, Stuart J.; Peters, James H.; Aicher, Sue.

In: Tzu Chi Medical Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4, 12.2007, p. 181-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9ce0d10cf9394f548ca5b432d31f5135,
title = "Cellular heterogeneity within the solitary tract nucleus and visceral afferent processing - Electrophysiological approaches to discerning pathway performance",
abstract = "Many homeostatic reflexes depend on autonomic central nervous system mechanisms to systemically coordinate visceral organ function. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is the common entry of cranial visceral afferents into these regulatory pathways. Such NTS neurons initiate adjustments in cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and other visceral systems. Diversity of neurons within the NTS appears integral to such processing but is daunting to approach experimentally. This review outlines three experimental approaches to understanding cellular heterogeneity within NTS and its relation to function. Brainstem slice preparations coupled with patch recordings afford cellular-molecular resolution with substantial links to the more intact system. Pharmacological approaches based on visceral afferent phenotype have helped identify myelinated and unmyelinated solitary tract inputs to NTS neurons. An interesting outcome has been the robust association of A-type potassium currents with NTS neurons receiving unmyelinated afferents. Neuroanatomical tracers offer a second, complementary approach. Anterograde transport of fluorescent dye identifies cranial visceral afferent terminals on second order neurons that cluster on or proximal to the soma - a highly unusual distribution in the central nervous system. Thus, second order baroreceptive neurons can be identified neuroanatomically in vitro. Equally helpful has been identification of NTS projection neurons by retrograde tracers injected into target regions of the hypothalamus or brainstem and this approach indicates substantial specialization - relative homogeneous neurons within the overall heterogeneity of NTS. Lastly, transgenic mouse strains, particularly those expressing marker chromophores, have identified phenotypic subtypes such as GABAergic inhibitory neurons within NTS. Combined methodologies are forging new understanding of NTS and autonomic regulation.",
keywords = "C-fiber, Parasympathetic, Paraventricular nucleus, Sensory, Vagus",
author = "Michael Andresen and Bailey, {Timothy W.} and Jin, {Young Ho} and McDougall, {Stuart J.} and Peters, {James H.} and Sue Aicher",
year = "2007",
month = "12",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
pages = "181--185",
journal = "Tzu Chi Medical Journal",
issn = "1016-3190",
publisher = "Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cellular heterogeneity within the solitary tract nucleus and visceral afferent processing - Electrophysiological approaches to discerning pathway performance

AU - Andresen, Michael

AU - Bailey, Timothy W.

AU - Jin, Young Ho

AU - McDougall, Stuart J.

AU - Peters, James H.

AU - Aicher, Sue

PY - 2007/12

Y1 - 2007/12

N2 - Many homeostatic reflexes depend on autonomic central nervous system mechanisms to systemically coordinate visceral organ function. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is the common entry of cranial visceral afferents into these regulatory pathways. Such NTS neurons initiate adjustments in cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and other visceral systems. Diversity of neurons within the NTS appears integral to such processing but is daunting to approach experimentally. This review outlines three experimental approaches to understanding cellular heterogeneity within NTS and its relation to function. Brainstem slice preparations coupled with patch recordings afford cellular-molecular resolution with substantial links to the more intact system. Pharmacological approaches based on visceral afferent phenotype have helped identify myelinated and unmyelinated solitary tract inputs to NTS neurons. An interesting outcome has been the robust association of A-type potassium currents with NTS neurons receiving unmyelinated afferents. Neuroanatomical tracers offer a second, complementary approach. Anterograde transport of fluorescent dye identifies cranial visceral afferent terminals on second order neurons that cluster on or proximal to the soma - a highly unusual distribution in the central nervous system. Thus, second order baroreceptive neurons can be identified neuroanatomically in vitro. Equally helpful has been identification of NTS projection neurons by retrograde tracers injected into target regions of the hypothalamus or brainstem and this approach indicates substantial specialization - relative homogeneous neurons within the overall heterogeneity of NTS. Lastly, transgenic mouse strains, particularly those expressing marker chromophores, have identified phenotypic subtypes such as GABAergic inhibitory neurons within NTS. Combined methodologies are forging new understanding of NTS and autonomic regulation.

AB - Many homeostatic reflexes depend on autonomic central nervous system mechanisms to systemically coordinate visceral organ function. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is the common entry of cranial visceral afferents into these regulatory pathways. Such NTS neurons initiate adjustments in cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and other visceral systems. Diversity of neurons within the NTS appears integral to such processing but is daunting to approach experimentally. This review outlines three experimental approaches to understanding cellular heterogeneity within NTS and its relation to function. Brainstem slice preparations coupled with patch recordings afford cellular-molecular resolution with substantial links to the more intact system. Pharmacological approaches based on visceral afferent phenotype have helped identify myelinated and unmyelinated solitary tract inputs to NTS neurons. An interesting outcome has been the robust association of A-type potassium currents with NTS neurons receiving unmyelinated afferents. Neuroanatomical tracers offer a second, complementary approach. Anterograde transport of fluorescent dye identifies cranial visceral afferent terminals on second order neurons that cluster on or proximal to the soma - a highly unusual distribution in the central nervous system. Thus, second order baroreceptive neurons can be identified neuroanatomically in vitro. Equally helpful has been identification of NTS projection neurons by retrograde tracers injected into target regions of the hypothalamus or brainstem and this approach indicates substantial specialization - relative homogeneous neurons within the overall heterogeneity of NTS. Lastly, transgenic mouse strains, particularly those expressing marker chromophores, have identified phenotypic subtypes such as GABAergic inhibitory neurons within NTS. Combined methodologies are forging new understanding of NTS and autonomic regulation.

KW - C-fiber

KW - Parasympathetic

KW - Paraventricular nucleus

KW - Sensory

KW - Vagus

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=38049045627&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=38049045627&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:38049045627

VL - 19

SP - 181

EP - 185

JO - Tzu Chi Medical Journal

JF - Tzu Chi Medical Journal

SN - 1016-3190

IS - 4

ER -