Autonomic neuroscience : basic & clinical

BDNF and AMPA receptors in the cNTS modulate the hyperglycemic reflex after local carotid body NaCN stimulation.

PMID 28254195


The application of sodium cyanide (NaCN) to the carotid body receptors (CBR) (CBR stimulation) induces rapid blood hyperglycemia and an increase in brain glucose retention. The commissural nucleus tractus solitarius (cNTS) is an essential relay nucleus in this hyperglycemic reflex; it receives glutamatergic afferents (that also release brain derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) from the nodose-petrosal ganglia that relays CBR information. Previous work showed that AMPA in NTS blocks hyperglycemia and brain glucose retention after CBR stimulation. In contrast, BDNF, which attenuates glutamatergic AMPA currents in NTS, enhances these glycemic responses. Here we investigated the combined effects of BDNF and AMPA (and their antagonists) in NTS on the glycemic responses to CBR stimulation. Microinjections of BDNF plus AMPA into the cNTS before CBR stimulation in anesthetized rats, induced blood hyperglycemia and an increase in brain arteriovenous (a-v) of blood glucose concentration difference, which we infer is due to increased brain glucose retention. By contrast, the microinjection of the TrkB antagonist K252a plus AMPA abolished the glycemic responses to CBR stimulation similar to what is observed after AMPA pretreatments. In BDNF plus AMPA microinjections preceding CBR stimulation, the number of c-fos immunoreactive cNTS neurons increased. In contrast, in the rats microinjected with K252a plus AMPA in NTS, before CBR stimulation, c-fos expression in cNTS decreased. The expression of AMPA receptors GluR2/3 did not change in any of the studied groups. These results indicate that BDNF in cNTS plays a key role in the modulation of the hyperglycemic reflex initiated by CBR stimulation.