Seizure-Induced Sympathoexcitation Is Caused by Activation of Glutamatergic Receptors in RVLM That Also Causes Proarrhythmogenic Changes Mediated by PACAP and Microglia in Rats
Journal of Neuroscience
Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction in seizure is a major cause of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. The catecholaminergic neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) maintain sympathetic vasomotor tone and blood pressure through their direct excitatory projections to the intermediolateral (IML) cell column. Glutamate, the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in brain, is increased in seizures. Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is an excitatory neuropeptide
... tatory neuropeptide with neuroprotective properties, whereas microglia are key players in inflammatory responses in CNS. We investigated the roles of glutamate, PACAP, and microglia on RVLM catecholaminergic neurons during the cardiovascular responses to 2 mg/kg kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures in urethane anesthetized, male Sprague Dawley rats. Microinjection of the glutamate antagonist, kynurenic acid (50 nl; 100 mM) into RVLM, blocked the seizure-induced 43.2 Ϯ 12.6% sympathoexcitation (p Յ 0.05), and abolished the pressor responses, tachycardia, and QT interval prolongation. PACAP or microglia antagonists (50 nl) (PACAP(6 -38), 15 pmol; minocycline 10 mg/ml) microinjected bilaterally into RVLM had no effect on seizure-induced sympathoexcitation, pressor responses, or tachycardia but abolished the prolongation of QT interval. The actions of PACAP or microglia on RVLM neurons do not cause sympathoexcitation, but they do elicit proarrhythmogenic changes. An immunohistochemical analysis in 2 and 10 mg/kg KA-induced seizure rats revealed that microglia surrounding catecholaminergic neurons are in a "surveillance" state with no change in the number of M2 microglia (anti-inflammatory). In conclusion, seizure-induced sympathoexcitation is caused by activation of glutamatergic receptors in RVLM that also cause proarrhythmogenic changes mediated by PACAP and microglia.