2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

Vagotomy Alters NMDA-type Glutamate Receptor Expression In The nTS

Alexis B. Graber
Dr. Daniela Ostrowski (ATSU), Dr. Eileen Hasser (University of Missouri Colombia), Dr. David Kline (University of Missouri Colombia), and Dr. Timothy D. Walston, Faculty Mentors

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the nervous system to change structure in response to stimuli. The nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) of the brainstem is the central integration site of baroreceptor and chemoreceptor sensory afferent fibers, an important contributor of cardiorespiratory function, and a site of major neuroplasticity. Plastic changes are critical for homeostasis, but can also lead to cardiorespiratory dysfunction as seen in sleep apnea or orthostatic hypotension. Decreasing input to the nTS via unilateral vagus nerve transection (vagotomy) induces morphological changes in nTS astrocytes (increased astrocyte branching) and blunts cardiorespiratory responses (mean arterial pressure, heart rate, splanchnic sympathetic nerve activity, and phrenic nerve activity) to nTS nanoinjections of exogenous glutamate. These results indicate that loss of afferent input alters glutamate signaling of nTS neurons. The aim of my study is to analyze whether AMPA- and/or NMDA-type glutamate receptor expression changes within the nTS following unilateral vagotomy using immunohistochemistry.

Keywords: Vagotomy , nucleus Tractus Solitarii, Neuroplasticity, Glutamate Receptor, Immunohistochemistry

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Session: 3-10
Location: SUB Activities Room
Time: 5:15

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