N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors are present in vagal afferents and their dendritic targets in the nucleus tractus solitarius

Sue Aicher, S. Sharma, V. M. Pickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors are present in the nodose ganglion, which contains the cell bodies of vagal afferents, and in the nucleus tractus solitarius, where these afferent fibers terminate. This suggests that N- methyl-D-aspartate receptors are located presynaptically on visceral vagal afferents and/or their target neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius. To test this hypothesis, we combined anterograde transport of biotinylated dextran amine, following injections into the left nodose ganglion, with electron microscopic immunogold labeling of antipeptide antiserum against the R1 subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in the nucleus tractus solitarius of rat brain. Within the medial nucleus tractus solitarius, the N- methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 immunoreactivity was seen in dendrites (39% of 639 profiles), axons and axon terminals (41%), and a few neuronal perikarya and glia. Many vagal afferent axons and terminals (40% of 468 profiles) contained N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 immunogold labeling. In addition, 42% of the dendrites contacted by vagal afferent terminals (n = 206) contained N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 immunoreactivity. In axons and dendrites, the gold particles were occasionally seen within asymmetric postsynaptic junctions or at non-synaptic sites on the plasma membrane. More commonly, however, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 labeling was seen on membranes of vesicular cytoplasmic organelles, suggesting that there is abundant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor protein available for activity- dependent mobilization to the plasmalemma. Since many vagal afferents are glutamatergic, our results implicate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in autoregulation of the presynaptic release and postsynaptic responses to glutamate at the level of the first central synapse in the nucleus tractus solitarius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalNeuroscience
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Solitary Nucleus
N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors
Dendrites
Nodose Ganglion
Presynaptic Terminals
Axons
Visceral Afferents
Cell Membrane
Neuroglia
Gold
Organelles
Synapses
Immune Sera
Glutamic Acid
Homeostasis
Electrons
Neurons
Injections
Brain

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular
  • Electron microscopy
  • Glutamate
  • Nucleus of the solitary tract
  • Vagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors are present in vagal afferents and their dendritic targets in the nucleus tractus solitarius. / Aicher, Sue; Sharma, S.; Pickel, V. M.

In: Neuroscience, Vol. 91, No. 1, 06.1999, p. 119-132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors are present in the nodose ganglion, which contains the cell bodies of vagal afferents, and in the nucleus tractus solitarius, where these afferent fibers terminate. This suggests that N- methyl-D-aspartate receptors are located presynaptically on visceral vagal afferents and/or their target neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius. To test this hypothesis, we combined anterograde transport of biotinylated dextran amine, following injections into the left nodose ganglion, with electron microscopic immunogold labeling of antipeptide antiserum against the R1 subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in the nucleus tractus solitarius of rat brain. Within the medial nucleus tractus solitarius, the N- methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 immunoreactivity was seen in dendrites (39{\%} of 639 profiles), axons and axon terminals (41{\%}), and a few neuronal perikarya and glia. Many vagal afferent axons and terminals (40{\%} of 468 profiles) contained N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 immunogold labeling. In addition, 42{\%} of the dendrites contacted by vagal afferent terminals (n = 206) contained N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 immunoreactivity. In axons and dendrites, the gold particles were occasionally seen within asymmetric postsynaptic junctions or at non-synaptic sites on the plasma membrane. More commonly, however, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor R1 labeling was seen on membranes of vesicular cytoplasmic organelles, suggesting that there is abundant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor protein available for activity- dependent mobilization to the plasmalemma. Since many vagal afferents are glutamatergic, our results implicate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in autoregulation of the presynaptic release and postsynaptic responses to glutamate at the level of the first central synapse in the nucleus tractus solitarius.",
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