Descending facilitation of spinal NMDA-dependent reflex potentiation from pontine tegmentum in rats

Gin Den Chen, Hsien Yu Peng, Kwong Chung Tung, Chen Li Cheng, Yi Jui Chen, Jiuan Miaw Liao, Yu Cheng Ho, Shwu Fen Pan, Mei Jung Chen, Tzer Bin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to investigate whether dorsolateral pontine tegmentum stimulation modulates spinal reflex potentiation (SRP) and whether serotonergic neurotransmission is involved in such a modulation. Reflex activities of the external urethra sphincter (EUS) electromyogram in response to a test stimulation (TS; 1/30 Hz) or repetitive stimulation (RS; 1 Hz) on the pelvic afferent nerve in 35 anesthetized rats were recorded with/without synchronized train pontine stimulation (PS; 300 Hz, 30 ms) and/or intrathecal administrations of 10 μl of 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoyl-benzo (F) quinoxaline (NBQX; 100 μM), D-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV; 100 μM), N-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-N-(2-pyridinyl) cyclohexanecarboxamide trihydrochloride (WAY 100635; 100 μM), and 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin (8-OH-DPAT; 100 μM). The TS evoked a single action potential (1.00 ± 0.00 spikes/stimulation), while the RS produced a long-lasting SRP (16.12 ± 1.59 spikes/stimulation) that was abolished by APV (1.57 ± 0.29 spikes/stimulation) and was attenuated by NBQX (7.42 ± 0.57 spikes/stimulation). Synchronized train PS with RS (PS+RS) produced facilitation in RS-induced SRP (25.17 ± 2.21 spikes/stimulation). Intrathecal WAY 100635 abolished the facilitation in SRP as a result of the synchronized PS (14.66 ± 1.58 spikes/stimulation). On the other hand, intrathecal 8-OH-DPAT elicited facilitation in the RS-induced SRP (25.16 ± 1.05 spikes/stimulation) without synchronized PS. Our findings suggest that dorsolateral pontine tegmentum may modulate N-methyl-D-aspartic acid-dependent SRP via descending serotonergic neurotransmission. This descending modulation may have physiological/ pharmacological relevance in the neural controls of urethral closure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 8-OH-DPAT
  • Long term potentiation
  • Pontine tegmentum
  • Serotonin
  • SRP
  • WAY 100635

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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