Phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF) is a persistent increase in phrenic nerve activity after acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH). Distinct cell-signaling cascades give rise to pLTF depending on the severity of hypoxemia within hypoxic episodes. Moderate AIH (mAIH; three 5-min episodes, Pao2 ~35–55 mmHG) elicits pLTF by a serotonin (5-HT)-dependent mechanism that requires new synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), activation of its high-affinity receptor (TrkB), and ERK MAPK signaling. In contrast, severe AIH (sAIH; three 5-min episodes, Pao2 ~25–30 mmHG) elicits pLTF by an adenosine-dependent mechanism that requires new TrkB synthesis and Akt signaling. Although both mechanisms require spinal protein synthesis, the newly synthesized proteins are distinct, as are the neurochemicals inducing plasticity (serotonin vs. adenosine). In many forms of neuroplasticity, new protein synthesis requires translational regulation via mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. Since Akt regulates mTOR activity, we hypothesized that mTOR activity is necessary for sAIHbut not mAIH-induced pLTF. Phrenic nerve activity in anesthetized, paralyzed, and ventilated rats was recorded before, during, and 60 min after mAIH or sAIH. Rats were pretreated with intrathecal injections of 20% DMSO (vehicle controls) or rapamycin (0.1 mM, 12 µl), a selective mTOR complex 1 inhibitor. Consistent with our hypothesis, rapamycin blocked sAIH- but not mAIH-induced pLTF. Thus spinal mTOR activity is required for adenosine-dependent (sAIH) but not serotonin-dependent (mAIH) pLTF, suggesting that distinct mechanisms regulate new protein synthesis in these forms of spinal neuroplasticity.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 the American Physiological Society.
- Long-term facilitation
- Motor neuron
- Translational regulation