Actions of epinephrine on neurons in the rat midbrain periaqueductal gray maintained in vitro

Maorong Jiang, Sharon D. Chandler, Matthew Ennis, Michael T. Shipley, Michael M. Behbehani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect of epinephrine (EPI) on the activity of 150 periaqueductal gray (PAG) neurons was examined using extracellular recordings in an in vitro slice preparation. Drop application of EPI inhibited 45%, excited 35%, and had no effect on 20% of PAG neurons. Both the excitatory and inhibitory effects of EPI were of long duration; excitatory responses averaged 17 min and inhibitory responses averaged 11 min in duration. EPI responses could be blocked by specific alpha-1 and alpha-2 receptor antagonists. In 35% of the neurons tested, blockade of synaptic transmission by perfusion with low calcium-high magnesium physiological saline blocked responses to EPI. The effects of EPI were site specific: 77% of the cells in the caudal ventrolateral region of the PAG were inhibited by EPI; in all other regions of PAG equal numbers of cells were excited and inhibited by EPI. It is concluded that: 1. (a) EPI has potent effects on a majority (80%) of PAG neurons; 2. (b) EPI responses are mediated by presynaptic as well as postsynaptic mechanisms; 3. (c) EPI preferentially inhibits neurons in the ventrolateral subdivision of caudal PAG. As this part of PAG contains many neurons that project to the ventral medulla, it is possible that EPI modulates the PAG-medullary functions such as analgesia, autonomic regulation, defense reactions, and sexual behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-877
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

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Periaqueductal Gray
Mesencephalon
Epinephrine
Neurons
In Vitro Techniques
Synaptic Transmission
Sexual Behavior
Analgesia
Magnesium
Perfusion
Cell Count

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Actions of epinephrine on neurons in the rat midbrain periaqueductal gray maintained in vitro. / Jiang, Maorong; Chandler, Sharon D.; Ennis, Matthew; Shipley, Michael T.; Behbehani, Michael M.

In: Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 29, No. 6, 01.01.1992, p. 871-877.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jiang, Maorong ; Chandler, Sharon D. ; Ennis, Matthew ; Shipley, Michael T. ; Behbehani, Michael M. / Actions of epinephrine on neurons in the rat midbrain periaqueductal gray maintained in vitro. In: Brain Research Bulletin. 1992 ; Vol. 29, No. 6. pp. 871-877.
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