Prokineticin 2 depolarizes paraventricular nucleus magnocellular and parvocellular neurons


Dr A. V. Ferguson, as above.


Blind whole-cell patch-clamp techniques were used to examine the effects of prokineticin 2 (PK2) on the excitability of magnocellular (MNC), parvocellular preautonomic (PA), and parvocellular neuroendocrine (NE) neurons within the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the rat. The majority of MNC neurons (76%) depolarized in response to 10 nm PK2, effects that were eliminated in the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX). PK2 also caused an increase in excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) frequency, a finding that was confirmed by voltage clamp recordings demonstrating increases in excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) frequency. The depolarizing effects of PK2 on MNC neurons were also abolished by kynurenic acid (KA), supporting the conclusion that the effects of PK2 are mediated by the activation of glutamate interneurons within the hypothalamic slice. PA (68%) and NE (67%) parvocellular neurons also depolarized in response to 10 nm PK2. However, in contrast to MNC neurons, these effects were maintained in TTX, indicating that PK2 directly affects PA and NE neurons. PK2-induced depolarizations observed in PA and NE neurons were found to be concentration-related and receptor mediated, as experiments performed in the presence of A1MPK1 (a PK2 receptor antagonist) abolished the effects of PK2 on these subpopulations of neurons. The depolarizing effects of PK2 on PA and NE neurons were also shown to be abolished by PD 98059 (a mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor) suggesting that PK2 depolarizes PVN parvocellular neurons through a MAPK signalling mechanism. In combination, these studies have identified separate cellular mechanisms through which PK2 influences the excitability of different subpopulations of PVN neurons.