Cellular Determinants of Vagal Pancreatic Control

Project: Research project

Project Details


Travagli, Alberto0235741 The vagus nerve plays a major role in the regulation of gastrointestinal motility and secretion as well as pancreatic secretory functions such as insulin and proteins. Previous studies suggest that, apart from nutritional factors, the control of insulin and protein secretion might be controlled by different neuronal factors. Recent studies have reported diverse morphological and electrophysiological features of the brainstem neurons that originate the vagus nerve. These features appear to be associated with specific gastrointestinal functions. Preliminary data suggest that also brainstem neurons projecting to the pancreas might comprise populations that can be distinguished by their pharmacological features. In addition, electrophysiological and morphological differences also exist within those neurons projecting to the pancreas. Until now, these pharmacological, morphological and electrophysiological features have not been correlated with specific pancreatic functions. In order to provide a more thorough understanding of the role of this nucleus in the control and regulation of pancreatic function, the pharmacological properties of DMV neurons with their morphological and membrane properties will be examined. These experiments will combine state-of-the-art electrophysiological recording from pancreas-projecting identified neurons in brainstem slices with pharmacological tests and morphological reconstructions. The results of these studies will provide new insights into the processing of information directed at the control of pancreatic functions and contribute to our understanding of the neurophysiological substrates of the control of pancreatic function.

Effective start/end date7/1/045/31/06


  • National Science Foundation: $206,394.00


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