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VGAT and VGLUT2 expression in MCH and orexin neurons in double transgenic reporter mice.

Blanco-Centurion, Carlos; Bendell, Emmaline; Zou, Bingyu; Sun, Ying; Shiromani, Priyattam J; Liu, Meng.
IBRO Rep ; 4: 44-49, 2018 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30155524
The neuropeptides orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), as well as the neurotransmitters GABA (γ-Aminobutyric acid) and glutamate are chief modulators of the sleep-wake states in the posterior hypothalamus. To investigate co-expression of vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT, a marker of GABA neurons) and the vesicular glutamate transporter-2 (VGLUT2, a marker of glutamate neurons) in orexin and MCH neurons, we generated two transgenic mouse lines. One line selectively expressed the reporter gene EYFP in VGAT+ neurons, whereas the other line expressed reporter gene tdTomato in VGLUT2+ neurons. Co-localization between these genetic reporters and orexin or MCH immunofluorescent tags was determined using 3D computer reconstructions of Z stacks that were acquired using a multiphoton laser confocal microscope. Our results demonstrated that MCH neurons expressed neither VGAT nor VGLUT2, suggesting MCH neurons are a separate cluster of cells from VGAT+ GABAergic neurons and VGLUT2+ glutamatergic neurons. Moreover, most orexin neurons expressed VGLUT2, indicating these neurons are glutamatergic. Our data suggested that in the posterior hypothalamus there are four major distinct groups of neurons VGAT+, orexin+/VGLUT2+, orexin-/VGLUT2+, and MCH neurons. This study facilitated our understanding of the role of these neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in relation to sleep/wake regulation.