Endogenous casein kinase-1 modulates NMDA receptor activity of hypothalamic presympathetic neurons and sympathetic outflow in hypertension

De-Pei Li, Jing-Jing Zhou, Hui-Lin Pan
Journal of Physiology 2015 October 1, 593 (19): 4439-52

KEY POINTS: Increased NMDA receptor activity and excitability of presympathetic neurons in the hypothalamus can increase sympathetic nerve discharges leading to hypertension. In this study, we determined how protein kinases and phosphatases are involved in regulating NMDA receptor activity and firing activity of presympathetic neurons in the hypothalamus in normotensive and hypertensive rats. We show that casein kinase-1 inhibition increases NMDA receptor activity and excitability of presympathetic neurons in the hypothalamus and augments sympathetic nerve discharges in normotensive, but not in hypertensive, rats. Our data indicate that casein kinase-1 tonically regulates NMDA receptor activity by interacting with casein kinase-2 and protein phosphatases in the hypothalamus and that imbalance of NMDA receptor phosphorylation can augment the excitability of hypothalamic presympathetic neurons and sympathetic nerve discharges in hypertension. These findings help us understand the neuronal mechanism of hypertension, and reducing the NMDA receptor phosphorylation level may be effective for treating neurogenic hypertension.

ABSTRACT: Increased N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus is involved in elevated sympathetic outflow in hypertension. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying augmented NMDAR activity in hypertension remain unclear. In this study, we determined the role of casein kinase-1 (CK1) in regulating NMDAR activity in the PVN. NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and puff NMDA-elicited currents were recorded in spinally projecting PVN neurons in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. The basal amplitudes of evoked NMDAR-EPSCs and puff NMDA currents were significantly higher in SHRs than in WKY rats. The CK1 inhibitor PF4800567 or PF670462 significantly increased the amplitude of NMDAR-EPSCs and puff NMDA currents in PVN neurons in WKY rats but not in SHRs. PF4800567 caused an NMDAR-dependent increase in the excitability of PVN neurons only in WKY rats. Also, the CK1ε protein level in the PVN was significantly lower in SHRs than in WKY rats. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular infusion of PF4800567 increased blood pressure and lumbar sympathetic nerve activity in WKY rats, and this effect was eliminated by microinjection of the NMDAR antagonist into the PVN. In addition, PF4800567 failed to increase NMDAR activity in brain slices of WKY rats pretreated with the protein phosphatase 1/2A, calcineurin, or casein kinase-2 inhibitor. Our findings suggest that CK1 tonically suppresses NMDAR activity in the PVN by reducing the NMDAR phosphorylation level. Diminished CK1 activity may contribute to potentiated glutamatergic synaptic input to PVN presympathetic neurons and elevated sympathetic vasomotor tone in neurogenic hypertension.

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