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Basal and Stress-Induced Network Activity in the Adrenal Medulla In Vivo

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submitted on 2024-04-16, 13:34 and posted on 2024-04-16, 13:34 authored by Jose R. Lopez Ruiz, Stephen A. Ernst, Ronald W. Holz, Edward L. Stuenkel

The adrenal medulla plays a critical role in mammalian homeostasis and the stress response. It is populated by clustered chromaffin cells that secrete epinephrine or norepinephrine along with peptides into the bloodstream affecting distant target organs. Despite been heavily studied, the central control of adrenal medulla and in-situ spatiotemporal responsiveness remains poorly understood. For this work, we continuously monitored the electrical activity of individual adrenomedullary chromaffin cells in the living anesthetized rat using multielectrode arrays. We measured the chromaffin cell activity under basal and physiological stress conditions and characterized the functional micro-architecture of the adrenal medulla. Under basal conditions, chromaffin cells fired action potentials with frequencies between ~0.2 and 4 Hz. Activity was almost completely driven by sympathetic inputs coming through the splanchnic nerve. Chromaffin cells were organized into independent local networks in which cells fired in a specific order, with latencies from hundreds of microseconds to a few milliseconds. Electrical stimulation of the splanchnic nerve evoked almost exactly the same spatiotemporal firing patterns that occurred spontaneously. Hypoglycemic stress, induced by insulin administration resulted in increased activity of a subset of the chromaffin cells. In contrast, respiratory arrest induced by lethal anesthesia resulted in an increase in the activity of virtually all chromaffin cells before cessation of all activity. These results suggest a stressor-specific activation of adrenomedullary chromaffin cell networks and revealed a surprisingly complex electrical organization that likely reflects the dynamic nature of the adrenal medulla’s neuroendocrine output during basal conditions and during different types of physiological stress.

Other Information

Published in: Frontiers in Endocrinology
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.875865

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Language

  • English

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Frontiers

Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU

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