Effects of salt-loading on supraoptic vasopressin neurones assessed by ClopHensorN chloride imaging

Kirthikaa Balapattabi, George E. Farmer, Blayne A. Knapp, Joel T. Little, Martha Bachelor, Joseph P. Yuan, J. Thomas Cunningham

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Salt-loading (SL) impairs GABAA inhibition of arginine vasopressin (AVP) neurones in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus. Based on previous studies, we hypothesised that SL activates tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB), down-regulating the activity of K+/Cl co-transporter2 (KCC2) and up-regulating Na+/K+/Cl co-transporter1 (NKCC1). These changes in chloride transport would result in increased [Cl]i in SON AVP neurones. The study combined virally-mediated chloride imaging with ClopHensorN with a single-cell western blot analysis. An adeno-associated virus with ClopHensorN and a vasopressin promoter (AAV2-0VP1-ClopHensorN) was bilaterally injected in the SON of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats that were either euhydrated (Eu) or salt-loaded (SL) for 7 days. Acutely dissociated SON neurones expressing ClopHensorN were tested for decreases or increases in [Cl]i in response to focal application of the GABAA agonist muscimol (100 μmol L-1). SON AVP neurones from Eu rats showed muscimol-induced chloride influx (P < 0.05;23/35). SON AVP neurones from SL rats either significantly increased chloride efflux (P < 0.05;27/39) or did not change chloride flux (12/39). The SON AVP neurones that responded to muscimol appeared to be viable and expressed KCC2 and β-actin. Neurones that did not respond during chloride imaging did not show KCC2 and β-actin protein expression. The KCC2 antagonist (VU0240551,10 μmol L-1) significantly blocked the chloride influx in cells from Eu rats but did not affect cells from SL rats. A NKCC1 antagonist (bumetanide,10 μmol L-1) significantly blocked the chloride efflux in cells from SL rats but had no effect on cells from Eu rats. Blocking NKCC1 using bumetanide had less of an effect on the muscimol-induced Cl influx in Eu rat neurones compared to the KCC2 antagonist. The TrkB antagonist (AnA-12) (50 μmol L-1) and protein kinase inhibitor (K252a) (100 nmol L-1) each significantly blocked chloride efflux in SON AVP neurones from SL rats. Salt-loading increases [Cl]i in SON AVP neurones via a TrKB-KCC2-NKCC1-dependent mechanism in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12752
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2019


  • SON and salt-loading
  • chloride imaging
  • vasopressin


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