The incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 increases mitral cell excitability by decreasing conductance of a voltage-dependent potassium channel

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Abstract

The olfactory system is intricately linked with the endocrine system where it may serve as a detector of the internal metabolic state or energy homeostasis in addition to its classical function as a sensor of external olfactory information. The recent development of transgenic mGLU-yellow fluorescent protein mice that express a genetic reporter under the control of the preproglucagon reporter suggested the presence of the gut hormone, glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), in deep short axon cells (Cajal cells) of the olfactory bulb and its neuromodulatory effect on mitral cell (MC) first-order neurons. A MC target for the peptide was determined using GLP-1 receptor binding assays, immunocytochemistry for the receptor and injection of fluorescence-labelled GLP-1 analogue exendin-4. Using patch clamp recording of olfactory bulb slices in the whole-cell configuration, we report that GLP-1 and its stable analogue exendin-4 increase the action potential firing frequency of MCs by decreasing the interburst interval rather than modifying the action potential shape, train length or interspike interval. GLP-1 decreases Kv1.3 channel contribution to outward currents in voltage clamp recordings as determined by pharmacological blockade of Kv1.3 or utilizing mice with Kv1.3 gene-targeted deletion as a negative control. Because fluctuations in GLP-1 concentrations monitored by the olfactory bulb can modify the firing frequency of MCs, olfactory coding could change depending upon nutritional or physiological state. As a regulator of neuronal activity, GLP-1 or its analogue may comprise a new metabolic factor with a potential therapeutic target in the olfactory bulb (i.e. via intranasal delivery) for controlling an imbalance in energy homeostasis.

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