1. Neuroscience
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Purinergic regulation of vascular tone in the retrotrapezoid nucleus is specialized to support the drive to breathe

  1. Virginia E Hawkins
  2. Ana C Takakura
  3. Ashley Trinh
  4. Milene R Malheiros-Lima
  5. Colin M Cleary
  6. Ian C Wenker
  7. Todd Dubreuil
  8. Elliot M Rodriguez
  9. Mark T Nelson
  10. Thiago S Moreira  Is a corresponding author
  11. Daniel K Mulkey  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Connecticut, United States
  2. University of São Paulo, Brazil
  3. College of Medicine, University of Vermont, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 21
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e25232 doi: 10.7554/eLife.25232
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Abstract

Cerebral blood flow is highly sensitive to changes in CO2/H+ where an increase in CO2/H+ causes vasodilation and increased blood flow. Tissue CO2/H+ also functions as the main stimulus for breathing by activating chemosensitive neurons that control respiratory output. Considering that CO2/H+-induced vasodilation would accelerate removal of CO2/H+ and potentially counteract the drive to breathe, we hypothesize that chemosensitive brain regions have adapted a means of preventing vascular CO2/H+-reactivity. Here, we show in rat that purinergic signaling, possibly through P2Y2/4 receptors, in the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) maintains arteriole tone during high CO2/H+ and disruption of this mechanism decreases the CO2ventilatory response. Our discovery that CO2/H+-dependent regulation of vascular tone in the RTN is the opposite to the rest of the cerebral vascular tree is novel and fundamentally important for understanding how regulation of vascular tone is tailored to support neural function and behavior, in this case the drive to breathe.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Virginia E Hawkins

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9505-6776
  2. Ana C Takakura

    Department of Pharmacology, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Ashley Trinh

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Milene R Malheiros-Lima

    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Colin M Cleary

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Ian C Wenker

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Todd Dubreuil

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Elliot M Rodriguez

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Mark T Nelson

    Department Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Thiago S Moreira

    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    For correspondence
    tmoreira@icb.usp.br
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Daniel K Mulkey

    Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States
    For correspondence
    daniel.mulkey@uconn.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7040-3927

Funding

National Institutes of Health (HL104101)

  • Daniel K Mulkey

National Institutes of Health (DK053832)

  • Mark T Nelson

National Institutes of Health (HL131181)

  • Mark T Nelson

Sao Paulo Research Foundation (2016/22069-0)

  • Thiago S Moreira

Sao Paulo Research Foundation (2015/23376-1)

  • Thiago S Moreira

Sao Paulo Research Foundation (2014/07698-6)

  • Milene R Malheiros-Lima

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (471283/2012-6)

  • Thiago S Moreira

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (301651/2013-2)

  • Ana C Takakura

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (301904/2015-4)

  • Thiago S Moreira

Totman Medical Research Trust

  • Mark T Nelson

Fondation Leducq

  • Mark T Nelson

EC horizon 2020

  • Mark T Nelson

Connecticut department of public health (150263)

  • Daniel K Mulkey

Sao Paulo Research Foundation (2014/22406-1)

  • Ana C Takakura

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (471263/2013-3)

  • Ana C Takakura

National Institutes of Health (HL126381)

  • Virginia E Hawkins

National Institutes of Health (HL095488)

  • Mark T Nelson

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All in vitro procedures were performed in accordance with National Institutes of Health and University of Connecticut Animal Care and Use Guidelines (protocol # A16-034). All in vivo procedures were performed in accordance with guidelines approved by the University of São Paulo Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol # 112/2015).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Jan-Marino Ramirez, Seattle Children's Research Institute and University of Washington, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: January 18, 2017
  2. Accepted: April 6, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 6, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Accepted Manuscript updated: April 7, 2017 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record published: May 8, 2017 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2017, Hawkins et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Further reading

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    The metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) form a family of neuromodulatory G-protein-coupled receptors that contain both a seven-helix transmembrane domain (TMD) and a large extracellular ligand-binding domain (LBD) which enables stable dimerization. Although numerous studies have revealed variability across subtypes in the initial activation steps at the level of LBD dimers, an understanding of inter-TMD interaction and rearrangement remains limited. Here, we use a combination of single molecule fluorescence, molecular dynamics, functional assays, and conformational sensors to reveal that distinct TMD assembly properties drive differences between mGluR subtypes. We uncover a variable region within transmembrane helix 4 (TM4) that contributes to homo- and heterodimerization in a subtype-specific manner and tunes orthosteric, allosteric, and basal activation. We also confirm a critical role for a conserved inter-TM6 interface in stabilizing the active state during orthosteric or allosteric activation. Together this study shows that inter-TMD assembly and dynamic rearrangement drive mGluR function with distinct properties between subtypes.