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TRPV1 channels in nitric oxide-mediated signalling: insight on excitatory transmission in rat CA1 pyramidal neurons

  • Autori: Gambino, G; Gallo, D; Covelo, A; Ferraro, G; Sardo, P; Giglia, G
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Nitric oxide (NO) is an intriguing signalling molecule implicated in a plethora of biological functions, especially at the synaptic level. Exploring neurotransmission in the hippocampus could be instrumental in the individuation of putative targets for nitric-oxide mediated neuromodulation, especially in terms of the potential repercussions on fundamental processes i.e. synaptic plasticity and excitability-related phenomena. Among these targets, endovanilloid signalling constitutes an object of study since Transient Receptors Vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels possess a NO-sensitive gate modulating its activation. Also, NO has been referred to as a mediator for numerous endocannabinoid effects. Notwithstanding, the linkage between TRPV1 and NO systems in neuromodulation still remains elusive. To this end, we aim at investigating the involvement of TRPV1 in nitric oxide-mediated influence on hippocampal processes. Electrophysiological whole-cell recordings on CA1 pyramidal neurons were applied to evaluate excitatory neurotransmission in rat brain slices. Indeed, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were evaluated upon pharmacological manipulation of TRPV1 and NO signalling pathways. In detail, only the administration of the specific TRPV1 exogenous agonist - capsaicin - reduced the frequency and amplitude of mEPSC similarly to the inhibitor of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), 7-nitroindazole (7NI). In contrast, capsazepine, TRPV1 antagonist, does not influence excitatory transmission. The combined TRPV1 activation and nNOS blockade confirms the presence of a putative common mechanism. When we administered the endovanilloid-endocannabinoid ligand, i.e. anandamide, we unveiled a potentiation of neurotransmission that was selectively reverted by 7NI. Our data suggest that nitric oxide influences TRPV1 hippocampal signalling since these channels are not constitutively active, but can be "on-demand" activated to modulate excitation in CA1 pyramidal neurons and that this effect is linked to nitric oxide production.