Title

Purinergic P2X receptors mediate excitatory transmission to cardiac vagal neurons in the nucleus ambiguus after hypoxia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-1-2007

Journal

Hypertension

Volume

50

Issue

1

DOI

10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.106.086140

Keywords

Cardiorespiratory; Hypoxia; Nucleus ambiguus; Parasympathetic; Purinergic

Abstract

Challenges such as hypoxia elicit a powerful response from both the central cardiovascular and respiratory neuronal networks. Recent work indicates that purinergic neurotransmission in the brain stem is an important modulator of central respiratory network responses to hypoxia. This study tests whether alterations in purinergic neurotransmission extend beyond respiratory responses to hypoxia and also mediates respiratory inputs to cardiac vagal neurons. To examine central cardiorespiratory responses to hypoxia, we used an in vitro medullary slice that allows simultaneous examination of rhythmic respiratory-related activity and synaptic neurotransmission to cardioinhibitory vagal neurons. Here we show that P2X receptor activation mediates respiratory-related excitatory neurotransmission to parasympathetic cardiac vagal neurons, the dominant control of heart rate. These data demonstrate a critical functional role for adenosine 5′-triphosphate-mediated purinergic signaling in facilitating respiratory-related excitatory neurotransmission to cardiac vagal neurons after hypoxia. © 2007 American Heart Association, Inc.

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