Literature context: g #S8305; RRID:AB_261562), Î²-actin
Cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein 2 (CPEB2) is an RNA-binding protein and translational regulator. To understand the physiological function of CPEB2, we generated CPEB2 knock-out (KO) mice and found that most died within 3 d after birth. CPEB2 is highly expressed in the brainstem, which controls vital functions, such as breathing. Whole-body plethysmography revealed that KO neonates had aberrant respiration with frequent apnea. Nevertheless, the morphology and function of the respiratory rhythm generator and diaphragm neuromuscular junctions appeared normal. We found that upregulated translation of choline acetyltransferase in the CPEB2 KO dorsal motor nucleus of vagus resulted in hyperactivation of parasympathetic signaling-induced bronchoconstriction, as evidenced by increased pulmonary acetylcholine and phosphorylated myosin light chain 2 in bronchial smooth muscles. Specific deletion of CPEB2 in cholinergic neurons sufficiently caused increased apnea in neonatal pups and airway hyper-reactivity in adult mice. Moreover, inhalation of an anticholinergic bronchodilator reduced apnea episodes in global and cholinergic CPEB2-KO mice. Together, the elevated airway constriction induced by cholinergic transmission in KO neonates may account for the respiratory defect and mortality. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: This study first generated and characterized cpeb2 gene-deficient mice. CPEB2-knock-out (KO) mice are born alive but most die within 3 d after birth showing no overt defects in anatomy. We found that the KO neonates showed severe apnea and altered respiratory pattern. Such respiratory defects could be recapitulated in mice with pan-neuron-specific or cholinergic neuron-specific ablation of the cpeb2 gene. Further investigation revealed that cholinergic transmission in the KO dorsal motor nucleus of vagus was overactivated because KO mice lack CPEB2-suppressed translation of the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of acetylcholine (i.e., choline acetyltransferase). Consequently, increased parasympathetic signaling leads to hyperactivated bronchoconstriction and abnormal respiration in the KO neonates.
Literature context: RRID:AB_261562 Polyclonal
Microinjection of somatostatin (SST) causes site-specific effects on respiratory phase transition, frequency, and amplitude when microinjected into the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) of the anesthetized rat, suggesting selective expression of SST receptors on different functional classes of respiratory neurons. Of the six subtypes of SST receptor, somatostatin 2a (sst2a ) is the most prevalent in the VLM, and other investigators have suggested that glutamatergic neurons in the preBötzinger Complex (preBötC) that coexpress neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R), SST, and sst2a are critical for the generation of respiratory rhythm. However, quantitative data describing the distribution of sst2a in respiratory compartments other than preBötC, or on functionally identified respiratory neurons, is absent. Here we examine the medullary expression of sst2a with particular reference to glycinergic/expiratory neurons in the Bötzinger Complex (BötC) and NK1R-immunoreactive/inspiratory neurons in the preBötC. We found robust sst2a expression at all rostrocaudal levels of the VLM, including a large proportion of catecholaminergic neurons, but no colocalization of sst2a and glycine transporter 2 mRNA in the BötC. In the preBötC 54% of sst2a -immunoreactive neurons were also positive for NK1R. sst2a was not observed in any of 52 dye-labeled respiratory interneurons, including seven BötC expiratory-decrementing and 11 preBötC preinspiratory neurons. We conclude that sst2a is not expressed on BötC respiratory neurons and that phasic respiratory activity is a poor predictor of sst2a expression in the preBötC. Therefore, sst2a is unlikely to underlie responses to BötC SST injection, and is sparse or absent on respiratory neurons identified by classical functional criteria. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1384-1398, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Lamina I of the spinal dorsal horn is a major site of integration and transmission to higher centers of nociceptive information from the periphery. One important primary afferent population that transmits such information to the spinal cord expresses substance P (SP). These fibers terminate in contact with lamina I projection neurons that express the SP receptor, also known as the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1r). Three types of lamina I projection neurons have been described: multipolar, fusiform, and pyramidal. Most neurons of the first two types are thought to be nociceptive and express the NK-1r, whereas most pyramidal neurons are nonnociceptive and do not express the NK-1r. In this immunocytochemical and behavioral study, we induced a neuropathic pain-like condition in the rat by means of a polyethylene cuff placed around in the sciatic nerve. We document that this lesion led to a de novo expression of NK-1r on pyramidal neurons as well as a significant increase in SP-immunoreactive innervation onto these neurons. These phenotypic changes were evident at the time of onset of neuropathic pain-related behavior. Additionally, we show that, after a noxious stimulus (intradermal capsaicin injection), these NK-1r on pyramidal neurons were internalized, providing evidence that these neurons become responsive to peripheral noxious stimulation. We suggest that the changes following nerve lesion in the phenotype and innervation pattern of pyramidal neurons are of significance for neuropathic pain and/or limb temperature regulation.
The retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) contains CO(2) -responsive neurons that regulate breathing frequency and amplitude. These neurons (RTN-Phox2b neurons) contain the transcription factor Phox2b, vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) mRNA, and a subset contains preprogalanin mRNA. We wished to determine whether the terminals of RTN-Phox2b neurons contain galanin and VGLUT2 proteins, to identify the specific projections of the galaninergic subset, to test whether RTN-Phox2b neurons contact neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex, and to identify the ultrastructure of these synapses. The axonal projections of RTN-Phox2b neurons were traced by using biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), and many BDA-ir boutons were found to contain galanin immunoreactivity. RTN galaninergic neurons had ipsilateral projections that were identical with those of this nucleus at large: the ventral respiratory column, the caudolateral nucleus of the solitary tract, and the pontine Kölliker-Fuse, intertrigeminal region, and lateral parabrachial nucleus. For ultrastructural studies, RTN-Phox2b neurons (galaninergic and others) were transfected with a lentiviral vector that expresses mCherry almost exclusively in Phox2b-ir neurons. After spinal cord injections of a catecholamine neuron-selective toxin, there was a depletion of C1 neurons in the RTN area; thus it was determined that the mCherry-positive terminals located in the pre-Bötzinger complex originated almost exclusively from the RTN-Phox2b (non-C1) neurons. These terminals were generally VGLUT2-immunoreactive and formed numerous close appositions with neurokinin-1 receptor-ir pre-Bötzinger complex neurons. Their boutons (n = 48) formed asymmetric synapses filled with small clear vesicles. In summary, RTN-Phox2b neurons, including the galaninergic subset, selectively innervate the respiratory pattern generator plus a portion of the dorsolateral pons. RTN-Phox2b neurons establish classic excitatory glutamatergic synapses with pre-Bötzinger complex neurons presumed to generate the respiratory rhythm.
Projection neurons in lamina I, together with those in laminae III-IV that express the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1r), form a major route through which nociceptive information reaches the brain. Axons of these cells innervate various targets, including thalamus, periaqueductal gray matter (PAG), and lateral parabrachial area (LPb), and many cells project to more than one target. The aims of this study were to quantify projections from cervical enlargement to PAG and LPb, to determine the proportion of spinothalamic neurons at lumbar and cervical levels that were labelled from PAG and LPb, and to investigate morphological differences between projection populations. The C7 segment contained fewer lamina I spinoparabrachial cells than L4, but a similar number of spino-PAG cells. Virtually all spinothalamic lamina I neurons at both levels were labelled from LPb and between one-third and one-half from PAG. This suggests that significant numbers project to all three targets. Spinothalamic lamina I neurons differed from those labelled only from LPb in that they were generally larger, were more often multipolar, and (in cervical enlargement) had stronger NK1r immunoreactivity. Most lamina III/IV NK1r cells at both levels projected to LPb, but few were labelled from PAG. The great majority of these cells in C7 and over one-fourth of those in L4 were spinothalamic, and at each level some projected to both thalamus and LPb. These results confirm that neurons in these laminae have extensive collateral projections and suggest that different neuronal subpopulations in lamina I have characteristic patterns of supraspinal projection.
The major ascending outputs from superficial spinal dorsal horn consist of projection neurons in lamina I, together with neurons in laminae III-IV that express the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1r) and have dendrites that enter the superficial laminae. Some neurons in each of these populations belong to the spinothalamic tract, which conveys nociceptive information via the thalamus to cortical areas involved in pain. A projection from the cervical superficial dorsal horn to the posterior triangular nucleus (PoT) has recently been identified. PoT is at the caudal end of the thalamus and was not included in injection sites in many previous retrograde tracing studies. We have injected various tracers (cholera toxin B subunit, Fluoro-Gold, and fluorescent latex microspheres) into the thalamus to estimate the number of spinothalamic neurons in each of these two populations, and to investigate their projection targets. Most lamina I and lamina III/IV NK1r-immunoreactive spinothalamic neurons in cervical and lumbar segments could be labeled from injections centered on PoT. Our results suggest that there are 90 lamina I spinothalamic neurons per side in C7 and 15 in L4 and that some of those in C7 only project to PoT. We found that 85% of the lamina III/IV NK1r-immunoreactive neurons in C6 and 17% of those in L5 belong to the spinothalamic tract, and these apparently project exclusively to the caudal thalamus, including PoT. Because PoT projects to second somatosensory and insular cortices, our results suggest that these are major targets for information conveyed by both these populations of spinothalamic neurons.