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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cooperation of NMDA and tachykinin NK(1) and NK(2) receptors in the medullary transmission of vagal afferent input from the acid-threatened rat stomach.

Noxious challenge of the rat gastric mucosa by hydrochloric acid (HCl) is signaled to the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) and area postrema (AP). This study examined the participation of glutamate and tachykinins in the medullary transmission process. Activation of neurons was visualized by in situ hybridization autoradiography of c-fos messenger RNA (mRNA) 45 min after intragastric (IG) administration of 0.5 M HCl or saline. IG HCl caused many neurons in the NTS and some neurons in the AP to express c-fos mRNA. The NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist MK-801 (2 mg/kg), the NK(1) tachykinin receptor antagonist GR-205,171 (3 mg/kg) and the NK(2) receptor antagonist SR-144,190 (0.1 mg/kg) failed to significantly reduce the NTS response to IG HCl, whereas the triple combination of MK-801, GR-205,171 and SR-144,190 inhibited it by 45--50%. Only in rats that had been preexposed IG to HCl 48 h before the experiment was MK-801 alone able to depress the NTS response to IG HCl. In contrast, the c-fos mRNA response in the AP was significantly augmented by MK-801, an action that was prevented by coadministration of GR-205,171 plus SR-144,190. Inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase with 7-nitroindazole (45 mg/kg) was without effect on the IG HCl-evoked c-fos mRNA expression in the NTS and AP. Our data show that glutamate acting via NMDA receptors and tachykinins acting via NK(1) and NK(2) receptors cooperate in the vagal afferent input from the acid-threatened stomach to the NTS and participate in the processing of afferent input to the AP in a different and complex manner. These opposing interactions in the AP and NTS and the increase in NMDA receptor function in the NTS after a gastric acid insult are likely to have a bearing on the neuropharmacology of dyspepsia.[1]


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