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Uchu Seibutsu Kagaku

Primary neurotransmitters and regulatory substances onto vestibular nucleus neurons.


PMID 12101361

Abstract

This review article focused on the primary neurotransmitters involved in transmission from the otolith to the vestibular nucleus (VN), especially in relation to the neurotransmission to the VN neurons (gravity-sensitive neurons) activated by tilt stimulation. The medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons were classified in 8 types (alpha-theta) according to the patterns in response to the clockwise and counterclockwise tilt-stimulations. The tilt-induced firing was inhibited by GDEE (a non-selective glutamate receptor antagonist) and/or atropine (a muscarinic receptor antagonist). Thus, glutamate and/or acetylcholine may serve as the primary neurotransmitters. This conclusion is supported by the previous findings that glutamate exists in the vestibular nerve and is released from the nerve besides the presence of glutamate receptor subtypes in the VN. In addition, acetylcholine induced atropine-reversible firing of MVN neurons, and the enzymes involved in acetylcholine synthesis/metabolism are also found in the VN. Furthermore, serotonin was found to inhibit the MVN neuronal activities via the 5-HT1A receptors. As such, the 5-HT1A agonist, tandospirone, may be effective in preventing and/or treating motion sickness and/or space sickness.

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