Serotonergic innervation and serotonin receptor expression of NPY-producing neurons in the rat lateral and basolateral amygdaloid nuclei.
ABSTRACT: Pharmacobehavioral studies in experimental animals, and imaging studies in humans, indicate that serotonergic transmission in the amygdala plays a key role in emotional processing, especially for anxiety-related stimuli. The lateral and basolateral amygdaloid nuclei receive a dense serotonergic innervation in all species studied to date. We investigated interrelations between serotonergic afferents and neuropeptide Y (NPY)-producing neurons, which are a subpopulation of inhibitory interneurons in the rat lateral and basolateral nuclei with particularly strong anxiolytic properties. Dual light microscopic immunolabeling showed numerous appositions of serotonergic afferents on NPY-immunoreactive somata. Using electron microscopy, direct membrane appositions and synaptic contacts between serotonin-containing axon terminals and NPY-immunoreactive cellular profiles were unequivocally established. Double in situ hybridization documented that more than 50 %, and about 30-40 % of NPY mRNA-producing neurons, co-expressed inhibitory 5-HT1A and excitatory 5-HT2C mRNA receptor subtype mRNA, respectively, in both nuclei with no gender differences. Triple in situ hybridization showed that individual NPY mRNA-producing interneurons co-express both 5-HT1A and 5-HT2C mRNAs. Co-expression of NPY and 5-HT3 mRNA was not observed. The results demonstrate that serotonergic afferents provide substantial innervation of NPY-producing neurons in the rat lateral and basolateral amygdaloid nuclei. Studies of serotonin receptor subtype co-expression indicate a differential impact of the serotonergic innervation on this small, but important, population of anxiolytic interneurons, and provide the basis for future studies of the circuitry underlying serotonergic modulation of emotional stimulus processing in the amygdala.
Project description:The laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) is a brain structure involved in distinct behaviors including arousal, reward, and innate fear. How environmental stimuli and top-down control from high-order sensory and limbic cortical areas converge and coordinate in this region to modulate diverse behavioral outputs remains unclear. Using a modified rabies virus, we applied monosynaptic retrograde tracing to the whole brain to examine the LDT cell type specific upstream nuclei. The LDT received very strong midbrain and hindbrain afferents and moderate cortical and hypothalamic innervation but weak connections to the thalamus. The main projection neurons from cortical areas were restricted to the limbic lobe, including the ventral orbital cortex (VO), prelimbic, and cingulate cortices. Although different cell populations received qualitatively similar inputs, primarily via afferents from the periaqueductal gray area, superior colliculus, and the LDT itself, parvalbumin-positive (PV+) GABAergic cells received preferential projections from local LDT neurons. With regard to the different subtypes of GABAergic cells, a considerable number of nuclei, including those of the ventral tegmental area, central amygdaloid nucleus, and VO, made significantly greater inputs to somatostatin-positive cells than to PV+ cells. Diverse inputs to the LDT on a system-wide level were revealed.
Project description:The role of interneurons in neurovascular coupling was investigated by patch-clamp recordings in acute rat cortical slices, followed by single-cell reverse transcriptase-multiplex PCR (RT-mPCR) and confocal observation of biocytin-filled neurons, laminin-stained microvessels, and immunodetection of their afferents by vasoactive subcortical cholinergic (ACh) and serotonergic (5-HT) pathways. The evoked firing of single interneurons in whole-cell recordings was sufficient to either dilate or constrict neighboring microvessels. Identification of vasomotor interneurons by single-cell RT-mPCR revealed expression of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) or nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in interneurons inducing dilatation and somatostatin (SOM) in those eliciting contraction. Constrictions appeared spatially restricted, maximal at the level of neurite apposition, and were associated with contraction of surrounding smooth muscle cells, providing the first evidence for neural regulation of vascular sphincters. Direct perfusion of VIP and NO donor onto the slices dilated microvessels, whereas neuropeptide Y (NPY) and SOM induced vasoconstriction. RT-PCR analyses revealed expression of specific subtypes of neuropeptide receptors in smooth muscle cells from intracortical microvessels, compatible with the vasomotor responses they elicited. By triple and quadruple immunofluorescence, the identified vasomotor interneurons established contacts with local microvessels and received, albeit to a different extent depending on interneuron subtypes, somatic and dendritic afferents from ACh and 5-HT pathways. Our results demonstrate the ability of specific subsets of cortical GABA interneurons to transmute neuronal signals into vascular responses and further suggest that they could act as local integrators of neurovascular coupling for subcortical vasoactive pathways.
Project description:The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a temporal lobe structure that contributes to a host of behaviors. In particular, it is a central player in learning about aversive events and thus assigning emotional valence to sensory events. It is a cortical-like structure and contains glutamatergic pyramidal neurons and GABAergic interneurons. It is divided into the lateral (LA) and basal (BA) nuclei that have distinct cell types and connections. Interneurons in the BLA are a heterogenous population, some of which have been implicated in specific functional roles. Here we use optogenetics and slice electrophysiology to investigate the innervation, postsynaptic receptor stoichiometry, and plasticity of excitatory inputs onto interneurons within the BLA. Interneurons were divided into six groups based on their discharge properties, each of which received input from the auditory thalamus (AT) and auditory cortex (AC). Auditory innervation was concentrated in the LA, and optogenetic stimulation evoked robust synaptic responses in nearly all interneurons, drove many cells to threshold, and evoked disynaptic inhibition in most interneurons. Auditory input to the BA was sparse, innervated fewer interneurons, and evoked smaller synaptic responses. Biophysically, the subunit composition and distribution of AMPAR and NMDAR also differed between the two nuclei, with fewer BA IN expressing calcium permeable AMPAR, and a higher proportion expressing GluN2B-containing NMDAR. Finally, unlike LA interneurons, LTP could not be induced in the BA. These findings show that interneurons in the LA and BA are physiologically distinct populations and suggest they may have differing roles during associative learning.
Project description:Serotonin (5-HT)-synthetizing neurons, which are confined in the raphe nuclei of the rhombencephalon, provide a pervasive innervation of the central nervous system (CNS) and are involved in the modulation of a plethora of functions in both developing and adult brain. Classical studies have described the post-natal development of serotonergic axons as a linear process of terminal field innervation. However, technical limitations have hampered a fine morphological characterization. With the advent of genetic mouse models, the possibility to label specific neuronal populations allowed the rigorous measurement of their axonal morphological features as well as their developmental dynamics. Here, we used the Tph2GFP knock-in mouse line, in which GFP expression allows punctual identification of serotonergic neurons and axons, for confocal microscope imaging and we performed 3-dimensional reconstruction in order to morphologically characterize the development of serotonergic fibers in specified brain targets from birth to adulthood. Our analysis highlighted region-specific developmental patterns of serotonergic fiber density ranging from a linear and progressive colonization of the target (Caudate/Putamen, Basolateral Amygdala, Geniculate Nucleus and Substantia Nigra) to a transient increase in fiber density (medial Prefrontal Cortex, Globus Pallidus, Somatosensory Cortex and Hippocampus) occurring with a region-specific timing. Despite a common pattern of early post-natal morphological maturation in which a progressive rearrangement from a dot-shaped to a regular and smooth fiber morphology was observed, starting from post-natal day 28 serotonergic fibers acquire the region specific morphological features present in the adult. In conclusion, we provided novel, target-specific insights on the morphology and temporal dynamics of the developing serotonergic fibers.
Project description:The linear nucleus (Li) was identified in 1978 from its projections to the cerebellum. However, there is no systematic study of its connections with other areas of the central nervous system possibly due to the challenge of injecting retrograde tracers into this nucleus. The present study examines its afferents from some nuclei involved in motor and cardiovascular control with anterograde tracer injections. BDA injections into the central amygdaloid nucleus result in labeled fibers to the ipsilateral Li. Bilateral projections with an ipsilateral dominance were observed after injections in a) jointly the paralemniscal nucleus, the noradrenergic group 7/ Köllike -Fuse nucleus/subcoeruleus nucleus, b) the gigantocellular reticular nucleus, c) and the solitary nucleus/the parvicellular/intermediate reticular nucleus. Retrogradely labeled neurons were observed in Li after BDA injections into all these nuclei except the central amygdaloid and the paralemniscal nuclei. Our results suggest that Li is involved in a variety of physiological functions apart from motor and balance control it may exert via its cerebellar projections.
Project description:This study examined the catecholaminergic and serotonergic innervation of the foregut of Aplysia californica, a model system in which the control of feeding behaviors can be investigated at the cellular level. Similar numbers (15-25) of serotonin-like-immunoreactive (5HTli) and tyrosine hydroxylase-like-immunoreactive (THli) fibers were present in each (bilateral) esophageal nerve (En), the major source of pregastric neural innervation in this system. The majority of En 5HTli and THli fibers originated from the anterior branch (En(2)), which innervates the pharynx and the anterior esophagus. Fewer fibers were present in the posterior branch (En(1)), which innervates the majority of the esophagus and the crop. Backfills of the two En branches toward the central nervous system (CNS) labeled a single, centrifugally projecting serotonergic fiber, originating from the metacerebral cell (MCC). The MCC fiber projected only to En(2). No central THli neurons were found to project to the En. Surveys of the pharynx and esophagus revealed major differences between their patterns of catecholaminergic (CA) and serotonergic innervation. Whereas THli fibers and cell bodies were distributed throughout the foregut, 5HTli fibers were present in restricted plexi, and no 5HTli somata were detected. Double-labeling experiments in the periphery revealed THli neurons projecting toward the buccal ganglion via En(2). Other afferents received dense perisomatic serotonergic innervation. Finally, qualitative and quantitative differences were observed between the buccal motor programs (BMPs) produced by stimulation of the two En branches. These observations increase our understanding of aminergic contributions to the pregastric regulation of Aplysia feeding behaviors.
Project description:The raphe nuclei provide serotonergic innervation widely in the brain, thought to mediate a variety of neuromodulatory effects. The mammalian olfactory bulb (OB) is a prominent recipient of serotonergic fibers, particularly in the glomerular layer (GL), where they are thought to gate incoming signals from the olfactory nerve. The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and the median raphe nucleus (MRN) are known to densely innervate the OB. The majority of such projections are thought to terminate in the GL, but this has not been explicitly tested. We sought to investigate this using recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAV)-mediated expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-synaptophysin targeted specifically to neurons of the DRN or the MRN. With DRN injections, labeled fibers were found mostly in the granule cell layer (GCL), not the GL. Conversely, dense labeling in the GL was observed with MRN injections, suggesting that the source of GL innervation is the MRN, not the DRN, as previously thought. The two raphe nuclei thus give dual innervation within the OB, with distinct innervation patterns.
Project description:The precise connectivity of somatostatin and parvalbumin cortical interneurons is generated during development. An understanding of how these interneuron classes incorporate into cortical circuitry is incomplete but essential to elucidate the roles they play during maturation. Here, we report that somatostatin interneurons in infragranular layers receive dense but transient innervation from thalamocortical afferents during the first postnatal week. During this period, parvalbumin interneurons and pyramidal neurons within the same layers receive weaker thalamocortical inputs, yet are strongly innervated by somatostatin interneurons. Further, upon disruption of the early (but not late) somatostatin interneuron network, the synaptic maturation of thalamocortical inputs onto parvalbumin interneurons is perturbed. These results suggest that infragranular somatostatin interneurons exhibit a transient early synaptic connectivity that is essential for the establishment of thalamic feedforward inhibition mediated by parvalbumin interneurons.
Project description:Alterations in the inhibitory circuitry of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in schizophrenia include reduced expression of the messenger RNA (mRNA) for somatostatin (SST), a neuropeptide present in a subpopulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is expressed in a subset of SST-containing interneurons and lower levels of NPY mRNA have also been reported in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. However, whether the alterations in these two transcripts identify the same, particularly vulnerable, subset of GABA neurons has not been examined.We used in situ hybridization to quantify NPY mRNA levels in DLPFC gray and white matter from 23 pairs of subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and matched normal control subjects; results were compared to those from a previous study of SST mRNA expression in the same subjects.In contrast to SST mRNA, NPY mRNA levels were not significantly lower in the gray matter of subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. However, NPY, but not SST, mRNA expression was significantly lower in the superficial white matter of subjects with schizoaffective disorder.These findings suggest that the alterations in SST-containing interneurons in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are selective for the subset that do not express NPY mRNA, and that lower NPY mRNA expression in the superficial white matter may distinguish subjects with schizoaffective disorder from those with schizophrenia.