In preclinical rodent models, spinal cord injury (SCI) manifests as gastric vagal afferent dysfunction both acutely and chronically. However, the mechanism that underlies this dysfunction remains unknown. In the current study, we examined the effect of SCI on gastric nodose ganglia (NG) neuron excitability and on voltage-gated Na+ (NaV) channels expression and function in rats after an acute (i.e. 3-days) and chronic (i.e. 3-weeks) period. Rats randomly received either T3-SCI or sham control surgery 3-days or 3-weeks prior to experimentation as well as injections of 3% DiI solution into the stomach to identify gastric NG neurons. Single cell qRT-PCR was performed on acutely dissociated DiI-labeled NG neurons to measure NaV1.7, NaV1.8 and NaV1.9 expression levels. The results indicate that all 3 channel subtypes decreased. Current- and voltage-clamp whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on acutely dissociated DiI-labeled NG neurons to measure active and passive properties of C- and A-fibers as well as the biophysical characteristics of NaV1.8 channels in gastric NG neurons. Acute and chronic SCI did not demonstrate deleterious effects on either passive properties of dissociated gastric NG neurons or biophysical properties of NaV1.8. These findings suggest that although NaV gene expression levels change following SCI, NaV1.8 function is not altered. The disruption throughout the entirety of the vagal afferent neuron has yet to be investigated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience