Send to

Choose Destination
Prog Brain Res. 1998;119:275-84.

Vasopressin acting at V1-type receptors produces membrane depolarization in neonatal rat spinal lateral column neurons.

Author information

Loeb Research Institute, Ottawa Civic Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


Vasopressin-immunoreactive fibers have been visualized in the area of spinal lateral horn cells, including spinal sympathetic preganglionic neurons. The presence and nature of vasopressin receptors on neurons in this area were addressed using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in transverse spinal cord slice preparations from neonatal rat. Bath applications of Arg8-vasopressin (VP) induced a slow-onset membrane depolarization accompanied by spike discharges and membrane oscillations. In voltage-clamp, applications of VP induced a reversible, tetrodotoxin-resistant and dose-dependent inward current in 90% of tested cells. This effect was blocked by a V1 receptor antagonist [D-(CH2)5 Tyr (Me)-VP], whereas a V2 receptor agonist [desamino-(D-Arg8)-vasopressin] was ineffective. Furthermore the applications of oxytocin produced significantly smaller depolarizations when compared with VP suggesting that, at least in the neonatal lateral horn cells, vasopressin rather than oxytocin is more effective ligand. Both the amplitude and duration of the VP effect were enhanced after intracellular dialysis with GTP-gamma-S, a non-hydrolyzable GTP analogue, whereas the inward current was significantly reduced after intracellular dialysis with GDP-beta-S, a stable analogue of GDP that competitively inhibits G-proteins. The observation that the VP-induced net inward current reversed at a potential close to the equilibrium for potassium ions and was associated with a decrease in membrane conductance in a majority of tested cells suggest mediation through closure of a leak potassium conductance. These data indicate that SPNs and other lateral horn cells possess functional G-protein-coupled V1-type vasopressin receptors that, in adult spinal cord, may contribute to CNS regulation of autonomic nervous system function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center