Effects of pancreatic polypeptide on pancreas-projecting rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus neurons

Kirsteen N. Browning, F. Holly Coleman, R. Alberto Travagli

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We investigated the pre- and postsynaptic effects of pancreatic polypeptide (PP) on identified pancreas-projecting neurons of the rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus in thin brain stem slices. Perfusion with PP induced a TTX- and apamin-sensitive, concentration-dependent outward (22% of neurons) or inward current (21% of neurons) that was accompanied by a decrease in input resistance; PP was also found to affect the amplitude of the action potential afterhyperpolarization. The remaining 57% of neurons were unaffected. PP induced a concentration-dependent inhibition in amplitude of excitatory (n = 22 of 30 neurons) and inhibitory (n = 13 of 17 neurons) postsynaptic currents evoked by electrical stimulation of the adjacent nucleus of the solitary tract, with an estimated EC50 of 30 nM for both. The inhibition was accompanied by an alteration in the paired pulse ratio, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. PP also decreased the frequency, but not amplitude, of spontaneous excitatory (n = 6 of 11 neurons) and inhibitory currents (n = 1 of 9 neurons). In five neurons, chemical stimulation of the area postrema (AP) induced a TTX-sensitive inward (n = 3) or biphasic (outward and inward) current (n = 2). Superfusion with PP reversibly reduced the amplitude of these chemically stimulated currents. Regardless of the PP-induced effect, the vast majority of responsive neurons had a multipolar somata morphology with dendrites projecting to areas other than the fourth ventricle or the central canal. These results suggest that pancreas-projecting rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus neurons are heterogeneous with respect to their response to PP, which may underlie functional differences in the vagal modulation of pancreatic functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G209-G219
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number2 52-2
StatePublished - Aug 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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