Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide enhances electrical coupling in the mouse adrenal medulla.
Neuroendocrine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells receive synaptic excitation through the sympathetic splanchnic nerve to elicit catecholamine release into the circulation. Under basal sympathetic tone, splanchnic-released acetylcholine evokes chromaffin cells to fire action potentials, leading to synchronous phasic catecholamine release. Under elevated splanchnic firing, experienced under the sympathoadrenal stress response, chromaffin cells undergo desensitization to cholinergic excitation. Yet, stress evokes a persistent and elevated adrenal catecholamine release. This sustained stress-evoked release has been shown to depend on splanchnic release of a peptide transmitter, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP). PACAP stimulates catecholamine release through a PKC-dependent pathway that is mechanistically independent of cholinergic excitation. Moreover, it has also been reported that shorter term phospho-regulation of existing gap junction channels acts to increase junctional conductance. In this study, we test if PACAP-mediated excitation upregulates cell-cell electrical coupling to enhance chromaffin cell excitability. We utilize electrophysiological recordings conducted in adrenal tissue slices to measure the effects of PACAP stimulation on cell coupling. We report that PACAP excitation increases electrical coupling and the spread of electrical excitation between adrenal chromaffin cells. Thus PACAP acts not only as a secretagogue but also evokes an electrical remodeling of the medulla, presumably to adapt to the organism's needs during acute sympathetic stress.
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4970, USA.
SourceAmerican journal of physiology. Cell physiology 303:3 2012 Aug pg C257-66
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't