Multiple oscillators, dynamic synchronization and sympathetic control.


:1. Intermittent bursts of activity are a robust feature of the discharges of sympathetic nerves. There are at least two major mechanisms producing such discharges: (i) phasic inputs influencing sympathetic circuits; and (ii) oscillators embedded within sympathetic networks. The functional significance of patterned and synchronized activity underlying bursts of population activity may reside in their influence on information transfer between excitable cells. At the level of the single neuron, firing pattern appears to be an important determinant of synaptic/neuroeffector function (e.g. the probability of transmitter release, the types of transmitter released, the types of receptor activated and plasticity). Synchronization of inputs at a target favours summation and, therefore, may influence response (short term and long term). 2. In the present paper, I review the work from my laboratory that has focused on furthering understanding of the potential functional importance of pattern and synchrony coding in sympathetic nervous control of cardiovascular function. Because the rat tail artery has been used extensively as a model for studying neuroeffector transmission, in our investigations we have recorded from its sympathetic innervation. 3. In the anaesthetized preparation, under steady state conditions, we have established that the discharges of these sympathetic neurons have a distinct rhythm (frequency approximately 0.8 Hz). This can be detected both at single neuron and population levels. 4. A family of oscillators appears to control their discharge such that under some conditions all neurons do not have the same frequency of rhythmical activity. However, these weakly coupled or uncoupled oscillators can be synchronized dynamically by various inputs, such as central respiratory drive, lung inflation cycle-related inputs and inputs arising from visceral and somatic afferents. 5. The potential functional significance of dynamic synchronization of sympathetic oscillators in relation to sympathetic pattern generation and neuroeffector transmission is discussed.


Gilbey MP





Has Abstract


2001-01-01 00:00:00












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