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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53863. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053863. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Effects of stresscopin on rat hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus neurons in vitro.

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  • 1Cellular Function Research Center, Yanbian University, Yanji City, Jilin Province, People's Republic of China.


The effects of stresscopin (SCP) on rat paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurons were examined using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and single-cell reverse-transcription multiplex polymerase chain reaction (SC-RT-mPCR) techniques. Under current-clamp conditions, bath application of SCP (100 nM) induced inhibition in 35.2% (37/105) of putative magnocellular neurons and 24.7% (20/81) of putative parvocellular neurons, and excitation in 5.7% (6/105) of putative magnocellular neurons and 18.5% (15/81) of putative parvocellular neurons. SCP-induced inhibition persisted in the presence of a mixture of TTX, a voltage-gated Na+ channel blocker, CNQX, an AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist and bicuculline, a GABA(A) receptor antagonist, whereas SCP-induced excitation of PVN neurons was reversed by the mixture. The SCP-induced inhibition of PVN neurons was abolished by bath application of antisauvagine-30, a selective CRF receptor 2 (CRF-R2) antagonist. Under voltage-clamp conditions, SCP evoked outward currents at the holding potential (-60 mV), which reversed near the potassium equilibrium potential. The SCP-evoked membrane currents were completely blocked by bath application of tertiapin-Q, a selective blocker of G protein-activated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels. SC-RT-mPCR analysis indicated that all the SCP-sensitive PVN neurons (57 SCP-inhibited neurons, 21 SCP-excited neurons) expressed CRF-R1 and CRF-R2 mRNAs. Among SCP-hyperpolarized PVN neurons, oxytocin (OT) mRNA was detected in 91.8% of putative magnocellular neurons and 45.0% of putative parvocellular neurons. OT mRNA was also detected in 26.6% of SCP-depolarized parvocellular neurons, but not in SCP-depolarized magnocellular neurons. These results indicate that SCP inhibits a subpopulation of PVN neurons, especially OTergic magnocellular neurons, by enhancing the activity of GIRK channels via CRF-R2.

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