The role of glutamate transporter-1 in firing activity of locus coeruleus neurons and nociception in rats

Abstract

Locus coeruleus (LC) is considered to be the main source of norepinephrine in the central nervous system (CNS) and plays important role in relieving pain in the body. Changes in the activity of synaptic excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) would be an applicable way to regulate synaptic transmission in the LC. In the present study, we examined the role of astrocytic glutamate transporter−1 (GLT1) in the firing activity of LC neurons and the sensation of pain in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into three control (CNT), ceftriaxone (CFT) and dihydrokainic acid (DHK) groups. Animals were given intraperitoneal injections for nine consecutive days after which the electrophysiological and behavioral experiments were performed to determine the single-unit activity of LC neurons and pain sensation. Results of this study revealed that CFT as a well−known up−regulator of GLT1 expression decreases the latency of pain sensation in rats but inhibition of GLT1 activity by DHK showed no significant effects. Furthermore, the results obtained by single-unit recording from LC showed a significant decrease in evoked response in CFT group compared to the CNT group. Therefore, this study suggests that GLT1 might be considered as a potential therapeutic target for pain modulation in the future.

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Acknowledgements

Dr Ali Niapour for his valuable comments on IHC and all staff in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at ArUMS.

Funding

This study is supported financially by the Research Vice-Chancellor of the School of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences (GN062).

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M.A. has written the plan and proposal of the study. M.A., A.N. and N.H. performed the electrophysiological recordings. A.N. and N.H. contributed to behavioral experiments. M.A. analyzed the electrophysiological and behavioral data. M.A. has written the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Amani.

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Nozad, A., Hamidi, N. & Amani, M. The role of glutamate transporter-1 in firing activity of locus coeruleus neurons and nociception in rats. Exp Brain Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-021-06065-0

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Keywords

  • Locus coeruleus
  • GLT1
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Single unit recording
  • Nociception