Serotonergic modulation of the activity of GLP-1 producing neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract in mouse
Holt, Marie K
Llewellyn-Smith, Ida Jonassen
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Objective Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and 5-HT are potent regulators of food intake within the brain. GLP-1 is expressed by preproglucagon (PPG) neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). We have previously shown that PPG neurons innervate 5-HT neurons in the ventral brainstem. Here, we investigate whether PPG neurons receive serotonergic input and respond to 5-HT. Methods We employed immunohistochemistry to reveal serotonergic innervation of PPG neurons. We investigated the responsiveness of PPG neurons to 5-HT using in vitro Ca2+ imaging in brainstem slices from transgenic mice expressing the Ca2+ indicator, GCaMP3, in PPG neurons, and cell-attached patch-clamp recordings. Results Close appositions from 5-HT-immunoreactive axons occurred on many PPG neurons. Application of 20 μM 5-HT produced robust Ca2+ responses in NTS PPG dendrites but little change in somata. Dendritic Ca2+ spikes were concentration-dependent (2, 20, and 200 μM) and unaffected by blockade of glutamatergic transmission, suggesting 5-HT receptors on PPG neurons. Neither activation nor blockade of 5-HT3 receptors affected [Ca2+]i. In contrast, inhibition of 5-HT2 receptors attenuated increases in intracellular Ca2+ and 5-HT2C receptor activation produced Ca2+ spikes. Patch-clamp recordings revealed that 44% of cells decreased their firing rate under 5-HT, an effect blocked by 5-HT1A receptor antagonism. Conclusions PPG neurons respond directly to 5-HT with a 5-HT2C receptor-dependent increase in dendritic [Ca2+]i. Electrical responses to 5-HT revealed additional inhibitory effects due to somatic 5-HT1A receptors. Reciprocal innervation between 5-HT and PPG neurons suggests that the coordinated activity of these brainstem neurons may play a role in the regulation of food intake.