Citation

4749 total record number 121 records this year

Galaninergic and hypercapnia-activated neuronal projections to the ventral respiratory column

Dereli, AS;Oh, AYS;McMullan, S;Kumar, NN;

In mammals, the ventral respiratory column (VRC) plays a pivotal role in integrating neurochemically diverse inputs from brainstem and forebrain regions to generate respiratory motor patterns. VRC microinjection of the neuropeptide galanin has been reported to dampen carbon dioxide (CO2)-mediated chemoreflex responses. Additionally, we previously demonstrated that galaninergic neurons in the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) are implicated in the adaptive response to hypercapnic stimuli, suggesting a link between RTN neuroplasticity and increased neuronal drive to the VRC. VRC neurons express galanin receptor 1, suggesting potential regulatory action by galanin, however, the precise galaninergic chemoreceptor-VRC circuitry remains to be determined. This study aimed to identify sources of galaninergic input to the VRC that contribute to central respiratory chemoreception. We employed a combination of retrograde neuronal tracing, in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry to investigate VRC-projecting neurons that synthesise galanin mRNA. In an additional series of experiments, we used acute hypercapnia exposure (10% CO2, 1 h) and c-Fos immunohistochemistry to ascertain which galaninergic nuclei projecting to the VRC are activated. Our findings reveal that a total of 30 brain nuclei and 51 subnuclei project to the VRC, with 12 of these containing galaninergic neurons, including the RTN. Among these galaninergic populations, only a subset of the RTN neurons (approximately 55%) exhibited activation in response to acute hypercapnia. Our findings highlight that the RTN is the likely source of galaninergic transmission to the VRC in response to hypercapnic stimuli.