Micromolar copper modifies electrical properties and spontaneous discharges of nodose ganglion neurons in vitro
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Copper plays a key role in aerobic cell physiology mainly related to mitochondrial metabolism. This element is also present at higher than basal levels in some central nuclei and indeed, current evidence support copper’s role as a neuromodulator in the central nervous system. More recent data indicate that copper may also affect peripheral neuronal activity, but so far, there are not detailed descriptions of what peripheral neuronal characteristics are targeted by copper. Here, we studied the effect of physiological concentration of CuCl2 (μM range) on the activity of peripheral neurons using a preparation of nodose ganglion in vitro. By mean of conventional intracellular recordings passive and active electrical membrane properties were studied. Extracellular copper modified (in a redox-independent manner) the resting membrane potential and the input resistance of the nodose ganglion neurons, increasing the excitability in most of the tested neurons. These results suggest that Cu2+ modulates the activity of nodose ganglion neurons and support nodose ganglion in vitro preparation as a simple model to study the subcellular mechanisms involved in the Cu2+ effects on neuron electrical properties.
KeywordsCopper Excitability Primary sensory neurons Nodose ganglion Vagal afferents
Financial support by Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT, Chile), project 1080670 (to CV).
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