Hydrogen Sulfides Action in the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus
Khademullah, Charline Sahara
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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a novel neurotransmitter that has been shown to influence cardiovascular function as well as other autonomic and endocrine functions by targeting a wide range of ion channels. Using whole-cell electrophysiology, I have investigated the potential role of H2S in the regulation of neuronal excitability in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), which is a central relay centre for autonomic and endocrine function. In current-clamp recordings, sodium hydrosulfide hydrate (NaHS), when perfused onto PVN slices at various concentrations (0.1, 1, 10, and 50 mM), elicited a concentration-dependent response relationship from the majority of recorded neurons, with almost exclusively depolarizing effects. Input resistance differences from baseline, and during the NaHS-induced depolarization, uncovered a biphasic response, implicating both a potassium (K+) and non-selective cation conductance. In order to further investigate H2Ss effects on K+ conductances, we used both voltage- and current-clamp techniques to examine the effects of NaHS at either 1 or 10 mM on both the transient and sustained voltage-activated K+ currents in these neurons. We applied TEA+ (10 mM) to isolate the transient/rapidly inactivating current (IA) and 4-AP (5 mM) to isolate the sustained/delayed rectifier current (IK), and were able to show that both of these conductances were significantly reduced by H2S. Finally, we were able to demonstrate, using current-clamp, that when 4-AP and TEA+ were applied together with NaHS, they were able to completely eliminate the previously observed NaHS-induced depolarization, and the effects on membrane potential reversed to show a small hyperpolarization. These data highlight the potential role of H2S as a critical modulator of the voltage-gated repolarizing conductances, IA and IK, which in turn regulate neuronal excitability within the PVN. This can have a large impact on the way neurotransmitters and hormones such as vasopressin, oxytocin, corticotrophin-releasing hormone, and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone are released from the PVN, which influence a wide range of neuroendocrine and autonomic functions such as cardiovascular function, fluid balance, and food intake.