Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2004 Oct 13;24(41):8940-9.

Cortical GABA interneurons in neurovascular coupling: relays for subcortical vasoactive pathways.

Author information

  • 1Laboratoire de Neurobiologie et Diversité Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité Mixte de Recherche 7637, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris, 75005 Paris, France.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center