Literature context: mmunoresearch Cat# 211-482-171, RRID:AB_2492289 Donkey anti-rabbit Alexi Fluor
Maternal behaviors are essential for the survival of the young. Previous studies implicated the medial preoptic area (MPOA) as an important region for maternal behaviors, but details of the maternal circuit remain incompletely understood. Here we identify estrogen receptor alpha (Esr1)-expressing cells in the MPOA as key mediators of pup approach and retrieval. Reversible inactivation of MPOAEsr1+ cells impairs those behaviors, whereas optogenetic activation induces immediate pup retrieval. In vivo recordings demonstrate preferential activation of MPOAEsr1+ cells during maternal behaviors and changes in MPOA cell responses across reproductive states. Furthermore, channelrhodopsin-assisted circuit mapping reveals a strong inhibitory projection from MPOAEsr1+ cells to ventral tegmental area (VTA) non-dopaminergic cells. Pathway-specific manipulations reveal that this projection is essential for driving pup approach and retrieval and that VTA dopaminergic cells are reliably activated during those behaviors. Altogether, this study provides new insight into the neural circuit that generates maternal behaviors.
Literature context: oResearch Labs Cat#711-485-152, RRID:AB_2492289 Chemicals, Peptides, and Recomb
Membrane excitability is a fundamentally important feature for all excitable cells including both neurons and muscle cells. However, the background depolarizing conductances in excitable cells, especially in muscle cells, are not well characterized. Although mutations in transmembrane channel-like (TMC) proteins TMC1 and TMC2 cause deafness and vestibular defects in mammals, their precise action modes are elusive. Here, we discover that both TMC-1 and TMC-2 are required for normal egg laying in C. elegans. Mutations in these TMC proteins cause membrane hyperpolarization and disrupt the rhythmic calcium activities in both neurons and muscles involved in egg laying. Mechanistically, TMC proteins enhance membrane depolarization through background leak currents and ectopic expression of both C. elegans and mammalian TMC proteins results in membrane depolarization. Therefore, we have identified an unexpected role of TMC proteins in modulating membrane excitability. Our results may provide mechanistic insights into the functions of TMC proteins in hearing loss and other diseases.
Literature context: 1:100; Jackson ImmunoResearch), donkey antirabbit DyLight 488 (1:100; Jackson ImmunoResearch), donkey antirabbit Alexa Fluor
Fasting evokes a homeostatic response that maintains circulating levels of energy-rich metabolites and increases the drive to eat. Centrally, this reflex activates a small population of hypothalamic neurons that are characterized by the expression of AgRP, a neuropeptide with an extremely restricted distribution. Apart from the hypothalamus, the only other site with substantial expression is the adrenal gland, but there is disagreement about which cells synthesize AgRP. Using immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, we show AgRP is present in the mouse adrenal medulla and is expressed by neuroendocrine chromaffin cells that also synthesize the catecholamines and neuropeptide Y. Short-term fasting led to an increase in adrenal AgRP expression. Because AgRP can act as an antagonist at MC3/4 receptors, we tested whether melanotan II, an MC3/4 receptor agonist, could regulate pre- and postsynaptic signaling within the adrenal medulla. Melanotan II decreased the paired-pulse ratio of evoked synaptic currents recorded in chromaffin cells; this effect was blocked by exogenous AgRP. In contrast, neither melanotan II nor AgRP altered the optogenetically evoked release of catecholamines from isolated chromaffin cells. These results are consistent with the idea that AgRP regulates the strength of the sympathetic input by modulation of presynaptic MC3/4 receptors located on preganglionic neurons. We conclude that a small population of neuroendocrine cells in the adrenal medulla, and the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, express AgRP and neuropeptide Y and are functionally involved in the systemic response to fasting.
Literature context: -485-152; RRID:AB_2492289 DyLight 59
During development, neural stem cells (NSCs) undergo transitions from neuroepithelial cells to radial glial cells (RGCs), and later, a subpopulation of slowly dividing RGCs gives rise to the quiescent adult NSCs that populate the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). Here we show that VCAM1, a transmembrane protein previously found in quiescent adult NSCs, is expressed by a subpopulation of embryonic RGCs, in a temporal and region-specific manner. Loss of VCAM1 reduced the number of active embryonic RGCs by stimulating their premature neuronal differentiation while preventing quiescence in the slowly dividing RGCs. This in turn diminished the embryonic origin of postnatal NSCs, resulting in loss of adult NSCs and defective V-SVZ regeneration. VCAM1 affects the NSC fate by signaling through its intracellular domain to regulate β-catenin signaling in a context-dependent manner. Our findings provide new insight on how stem cells in the embryo are preserved to meet the need for growth and regeneration.
Literature context: ht 1:800 (RRID:AB_2492289), 405DyLig
Cerebral blood flow is highly sensitive to changes in CO2/H+ where an increase in CO2/H+ causes vasodilation and increased blood flow. Tissue CO2/H+ also functions as the main stimulus for breathing by activating chemosensitive neurons that control respiratory output. Considering that CO2/H+-induced vasodilation would accelerate removal of CO2/H+ and potentially counteract the drive to breathe, we hypothesize that chemosensitive brain regions have adapted a means of preventing vascular CO2/H+-reactivity. Here, we show in rat that purinergic signaling, possibly through P2Y2/4 receptors, in the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) maintains arteriole tone during high CO2/H+ and disruption of this mechanism decreases the CO2ventilatory response. Our discovery that CO2/H+-dependent regulation of vascular tone in the RTN is the opposite to the rest of the cerebral vascular tree is novel and fundamentally important for understanding how regulation of vascular tone is tailored to support neural function and behavior, in this case the drive to breathe.
Literature context: ratories; RRID:AB_2492289 and AB_231
KCNQ2 potassium channels are critical for normal brain function, as both loss-of-function and gain-of-function KCNQ2 variants can lead to various forms of neonatal epilepsy. Despite recent progress, the full spectrum of consequences as a result of KCNQ2 dysfunction in neocortical pyramidal neurons is still unknown. Here, we report that conditional ablation of Kcnq2 from mouse neocortex leads to hyperexcitability of layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons, exhibiting an increased input resistance and action potential frequency, as well as a reduced medium afterhyperpolarization (mAHP), a conductance partly mediated by KCNQ2 channels. Importantly, we show that introducing the KCNQ2 loss-of-function variant KCNQ2I205V into L2/3 pyramidal neurons using in utero electroporation also results in a hyperexcitable phenotype similar to the conditional knock-out. KCNQ2I205V has a right-shifted conductance-to-voltage relationship, suggesting loss of KCNQ2 channel activity at subthreshold membrane potentials is sufficient to drive large changes in L2/3 pyramidal neuronal excitability even in the presence of an intact mAHP. We also found that the changes in excitability following Kcnq2 ablation are accompanied by alterations at action potential properties, including action potential amplitude in Kcnq2-null neurons. Importantly, partial inhibition of Nav1.6 channels was sufficient to counteract the hyperexcitability of Kcnq2-null neurons. Therefore, our work shows that loss of KCNQ2 channels alters the intrinsic neuronal excitability and action potential properties of L2/3 pyramidal neurons, and identifies Nav1.6 as a new potential molecular target to reduce excitability in patients with KCNQ2 encephalopathy. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: KCNQ2 channels are critical for the development of normal brain function, as KCNQ2 variants could lead to epileptic encephalopathy. However, the role of KCNQ2 channels in regulating the properties of neocortical neurons is largely unexplored. Here, we find that Kcnq2 ablation or loss-of-function at subthreshold membrane potentials leads to increased neuronal excitability of neocortical layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons. We also demonstrate that Kcnq2 ablation unexpectedly leads to a larger action potential amplitude. Importantly, we propose the Nav1.6 channel as a new molecular target for patients with KCNQ2 encephalopathy, as partial inhibition of these channels counteracts the increased L2/3 pyramidal neuron hyperexcitability of Kcnq2-null neurons.
Literature context: ratories, RRID:AB_2492289)Polyclonal
Somatostatin (SST) or agonists of the SST-2 receptor (sst2 ) in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) lower sympathetic nerve activity, arterial pressure, and heart rate, or when administered within the Bötzinger region, evoke apneusis. Our aims were to describe the mechanisms responsible for the sympathoinhibitory effects of SST on bulbospinal neurons and to identify likely sources of RVLM SST release. Patch clamp recordings were made from bulbospinal RVLM neurons (n = 31) in brainstem slices prepared from juvenile rat pups. Overall, 58% of neurons responded to SST, displaying an increase in conductance that reversed at -93 mV, indicative of an inwardly rectifying potassium channel (GIRK) mechanism. Blockade of sst2 abolished this effect, but application of tetrodotoxin did not, indicating that the SST effect is independent of presynaptic activity. Fourteen bulbospinal RVLM neurons were recovered for immunohistochemistry; nine were SST-insensitive and did not express sst2a . Three out of five responsive neurons were sst2a -immunoreactive. Neurons that contained preprosomatostatin mRNA and cholera-toxin-B retrogradely transported from the RVLM were detected in: paratrigeminal nucleus, lateral parabrachial nucleus, Kölliker-Fuse nucleus, ventrolateral periaqueductal gray area, central nucleus of the amygdala, sublenticular extended amygdala, interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure nucleus, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Thus, those brain regions are putative sources of endogenous SST release that, when activated, may evoke sympathoinhibitory effects via interactions with subsets of sympathetic premotor neurons that express sst2 .