Modulation of inhibitory neurotransmission in brainstem vagal circuits by NPY and PYY is controlled by cAMP levels

K. N. Browning, R. A. Travagli

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31 Scopus citations


Pancreatic polypeptides such as neuropeptide Y (NPY) and peptide YY (PYY) exert profound, vagally mediated effects on gastrointestinal (GI) motility. Vagal efferent outflow to the GI tract is determined principally by tonic GABAergic synaptic inputs onto dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) neurons, yet neither peptide modulates GABAergic transmission. We showed recently that opioid peptides appear similarly ineffective because of the low resting cAMP levels. Using whole cell recordings from identified DMV neurons, we aimed to correlate the influence of brainstem cAMP levels with the ability of pancreatic polypeptides to modulate GABAergic synaptic transmission. Neither NPY, PYY, nor the Y1 or Y2 receptor selective agonists [Leu,Pro]NPY or NPY(3-36) respectively, inhibited evoked inhibitory postsynaptic current (eIPSC) amplitude unless cAMP levels were elevated by forskolin or 8-bromo-cAMP, by exposure to adenylate cyclase-coupled modulators such as cholecystokinin octapeptide (sulfated) (CCK-8s) or thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), or by vagal deafferentation. The inhibition of eIPSC amplitude by [Leu,Pro]NPY or NPY(3-36) was stable for approximately 30 min following the initial increase in cAMP levels. Thereafter, the inhibition declined gradually until the agonists were again ineffective after 60 min. Analysis of spontaneous and miniature currents revealed that such inhibitory effects were due to actions at presynaptic Y1 and Y2 receptors. These results suggest that, similar to opioid peptides, the effects of pancreatic polypeptides on GABAergic transmission depend upon the levels of cAMP within gastric inhibitory vagal circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1309-1318+e126
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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