Electrophysiological properties of identified oxytocin and vasopressin neurones

William Armstrong, Robert Foehring, Matthew K. Kirchner, Celia D. Sladek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

To understand the contribution of intrinsic membrane properties to the different in vivo firing patterns of oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) neurones, in vitro studies are needed, where stable intracellular recordings can be made. Combining immunochemistry for OT and VP and intracellular dye injections allows characterisation of identified OT and VP neurones, and several differences between the two cell types have emerged. These include a greater transient K + current that delays spiking to stimulus onset, and a higher Na + current density leading to greater spike amplitude and a more stable spike threshold, in VP neurones. VP neurones also show a greater incidence of both fast and slow Ca 2+ -dependent depolarising afterpotentials, the latter of which summate to plateau potentials and contribute to phasic bursting. By contrast, OT neurones exhibit a sustained outwardly rectifying potential (SOR), as well as a consequent depolarising rebound potential, not found in VP neurones. The SOR makes OT neurones more susceptible to spontaneous inhibitory synaptic inputs and correlates with a longer period of spike frequency adaptation in these neurones. Although both types exhibit prominent Ca 2+ -dependent afterhyperpolarising potentials (AHPs) that limit firing rate and contribute to bursting patterns, Ca 2+ -dependent AHPs in OT neurones selectively show significant increases during pregnancy and lactation. In OT neurones, but not VP neurones, AHPs are highly dependent on the constitutive presence of the second messenger, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, which permissively gates N-type channels that contribute the Ca 2+ during spike trains that activates the AHP. By contrast to the intrinsic properties supporting phasic bursting in VP neurones, the synchronous bursting of OT neurones has only been demonstrated in vitro in cultured hypothalamic explants and is completely dependent on synaptic transmission. Additional differences in Ca 2+ channel expression between the two neurosecretory terminal types suggests these channels are also critical players in the differential release of OT and VP during repetitive spiking, in addition to their importance to the potentials controlling firing patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12666
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Fingerprint

Oxytocin
Vasopressins
Neurons
Immunochemistry
Second Messenger Systems
Phosphatidylinositols
Lactation
Synaptic Transmission
Coloring Agents

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Electrophysiological properties of identified oxytocin and vasopressin neurones. / Armstrong, William; Foehring, Robert; Kirchner, Matthew K.; Sladek, Celia D.

In: Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Vol. 31, No. 3, e12666, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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