Milan Stoiljkovic

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Local glutamate simulation of intertrigeminal region (ITR) in the lateral pons evoked immediate cardiovascular and respiratory effects proposing its role in central cardiorespiratory control. Since pharmacological studies provided only functional evidence for the existence of glutamate receptors in the ITR and thereby specifying putative neurochemical substrate involved in this control, here we employed immunohistochemistry to examine expression and distribution of NMDA and mGlu1 receptors in this structure. Thirty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were perfuse-fixed, their brains frozen and cut into sequential series of 20 µm thick sections through the ITR. Immunohistochemistry was performed using polyclonal antibodies against NMDA-NR1, NMDA-NR2A and mGlu1 receptors. Labeled neurons in the ITR were analyzed using light microscope and computerized image analysis system for quantification of relative immunoreactivity as the mean of integrated optical density (IOD), and counting the immunopositive cells. Light microscopic analyses demonstrated NMDA-NR1-immunoreactivity mainly localized in the neuronal cell bodies with sparse distribution on primary dendrites, while NMDA-NR2A-immunoreactivity was basically somatically distributed. The mGlu1-immunoreactivity was moderate and observed both in neuronal bodies and primary dendrites or extracellular matrix suggesting somatodendritic localization. Quantitative analyses of IOD showed very strong expression of NMDA-NR1, weak of NMDA-NR2A and strong-to-moderate expression of mGluR1, with differences in immunostaining signal distribution over rostro-caudal span of the ITR. Counting of immunopositive cells followed similar expression profile. Our data directly confirm the presence of glutamatergic NMDA and mGlu1 receptors in the ITR apparently involved in signaling pathways by which this region modulates cardiorespiratory functions such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.


intertrigeminal region, NMDA receptors, mGlu1 receptors, immunohistochemistry, rats

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