Structural Remodeling of Vagal Afferent Innervation of Aortic Arch and Nucleus Ambiguus (NA) Projections to Cardiac Ganglia in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Type 1 Diabetes (OVE26)



L. H. Li; C. H. Huang; J. Ai; B. B. Yan; H. Gu; Z. S. Ma; A. Y. Li; X. Y. Shang; S. W. Harden; J. T. Hatcher; R. D. Wurster;Z. X. Cheng


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Abbreviated Journal Title

J. Comp. Neurol.


baroreflex; nodose ganglion; baroreceptor afferent; aortic arch; nucleus; ambiguus; vagal efferent; cardiac ganglia; diabetes; OVE26 mce; SYMPATHETIC-NERVE ACTIVITY; DORSAL MOTOR NUCLEUS; HEART-RATE; BARORECEPTOR REFLEX; SPECTRAL-ANALYSIS; MICE OVE26; RAT ATRIA; BAROREFLEX; NEURONS; CHEMORECEPTORS; Neurosciences; Zoology


Diabetes-induced structural changes of vagal aortic afferent and cardiac efferent axons are not well understood. FVB control and OVE26 diabetic mice at different ages received injections of the tracer tetramethylrhodamine dextran (TMR-D) into the nodose ganglion to label vagal aortic afferents (at 3 and 6 months), or Dil injections into the nucleus ambiguus to label vagal cardiac efferents (at 3, 6, and 9 months). The aortic arch and atria were examined by using confocal microscopy. In the aortic arch, TMR-D labeled large and small vagal afferent axons (axons(L) and axons(S)) that formed different types of terminals: axons(L) produced large flower-sprays (flower-sprays(L)) and end-nets (end-nets(L)), whereas axons(S) produced small flower-sprays (flower-spray(S)) and end-nets (end-nets(S)). In the atria, Dil-labeled vagal efferent axons formed basket endings around ganglion principle neurons (PNs). The vagal afferents, PNs and vagal cardiac efferents in diabetic mice were compared with age-matched control mice. We found (P < 0.05) that: 1) the size of axons(L), flower-sprays(L), flower-sprays(S) and end-nets(S) were reduced at 6 and 9 months; 2) the size of cardiac ganglia and the somatic area of the PNs were decreased, and the PN density in cardiac ganglia was increased at all ages and the PN nuclei/soma area ratio was increased at 9 months; and 3) the percentage of Dil-labeled axons-innervated PNs was decreased at all ages. Furthermore, the number of synaptic-like terminal varicosities around PNs was decreased. Compared with 3 months, more advanced diabetes at 9 months further reduced the number of varicosities/PN. In addition to these changes, swollen axons and terminals, as well as leaky-like Dil-labeled terminals, were observed in long-term diabetic mice (6 and 9 months of age). Taken together, our data show that chronic diabetes induces a significant structural atrophy of vagal aortic afferent and cardiac efferent axons and terminals. Although different morphologies of vagal afferent terminals in the aortic arch may serve as substrates for the future investigation of aortic depressor afferent physiology, structural remodeling of vagal afferents and efferents provides a foundation for further analysis of diabetes-induced impairment of cardiac autonomic regulation. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:2771-2793, 2010. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Journal Title

Journal of Comparative Neurology





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