Activation of locus coeruleus from nucleus paragigantocellularis: A new excitatory amino acid pathway in brain

Matthew Ennis, G. Aston-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Recent anatomic and physiologic experiments revealed that a major afferent to the nucleus locus coeruleus (LC) is the nucleus paragigantocellularis (PGi) in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (Aston-Jones et al., 1986). In the present studies, responses of LC neurons to electrical activation of PGi were characterized in anesthetized rats. Low-intensity stimulation of PGi synaptically activated 73% of LC neurons at short latencies (mean onset, 11.3 msec), while a smaller population (16%) of LC neurons exhibited purely inhibitory responses. The excitatory transmission from PGi to LC was pharmacologically analyzed, revealing it to be resistant to cholinergic receptor antagonism, but completely abolished by the excitatory amino acid (EAA) antagonists kynurenic acid and γ-D-glutamylglycine. The specific N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist 2 - amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid (AP7) and the preferential quisqualate receptor antagonist glutamate diethyl ester (GDEE) did not block LC responses to PGi stimulation, leading us to the tentative conclusion that EAAs may operate primarily at a kainate-type receptor on LC neurons to effect excitation from PGi. In addition to their blockade of PGi-evoked activity, kynurenic acid and DGG exerted a similar, simultaneous blockade of the characteristic excitation of LC neurons evoked by electrical stimulation of the hindpaw. These and other results indicate that the proposed EAA pathway from PGi may serve as a final link in a variety of sensory inputs of LC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3644-3657
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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Excitatory Amino Acids
Locus Coeruleus
Brain
Neurons
Kynurenic Acid
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid
Kainic Acid Receptors
AMPA Receptors
Cholinergic Receptors
N-Methylaspartate
Electric Stimulation
Esters

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Activation of locus coeruleus from nucleus paragigantocellularis : A new excitatory amino acid pathway in brain. / Ennis, Matthew; Aston-Jones, G.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 8, No. 10, 01.01.1988, p. 3644-3657.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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