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Papers: 16 Apr 2022 - 22 Apr 2022

2022 Apr 15


Ah-type baroreceptor neurons expressing estrogen dependent mGluR7 mediate descending inhibition of cardiac nociception.


Wen X, Song D-X, Li K-X, Wang L-N, Xiong X, Li H-D, Cui C-P, Lu X-L, Li B-Y, Liu Y
Neuroscience. 2022 Apr 15.
PMID: 35436518.


Silent myocardial infarction (MI) is critical for clinical practice with increasing risk for women and the cause remains a medical mystery. Upon the discovery of female-specific Ah-type baroreceptor neurons (BRNs), we hypothesize that glutamate mediates depressor response through afferent-specific expression of particular glutamate receptors (mGluRs) leading descending inhibition of cardiac nociception. In vivo, tail-flick reflex and electromyography were assessed to evaluate glutamate-mediated blood pressure regulation, peripheral and cardiac nociception. The results showed that glutamate decreased mean arterial pressure (MAP) and increased peripheral nociception. Interestingly, glutamate-mediated capsaicin-induced cardiac nociception was strongly reduced in female rats compared with males. Furthermore, Nodose (NG) microinjection of mGluR7 agonist significantly increased MAP in males and slightly decreased that in females. Even though mGluR8 direct activation intensified baroreceptor activation, the sensitivity was similar between sexes. In vitro, the expression profiles of mGluRs were investigated using Western blot and identified BRNs using single-cell qRT-PCR under ischemic conditions. Glutamate in serum, NG and nucleus tractus solitary (NTS) was raised significantly in the model rats of both sexes vs. sham-controls. Female-specific expression of mGluR7 in the baroreflex afferent pathway, especially higher expression in Ah-type BRNs, contributes significantly to cardiac analgesia, which may explain that the pathogenesis of silent MI occurs mainly in female patients. Therefore, higher expression of mGluR7 in female-specific subpopulation of Ah-type baroreceptor neurons plays a critical role in cardiac analgesia and peripheral nociception.