TGF-beta1 in Aplysia: role in long-term changes in the excitability of sensory neurons and distribution of TbetaR-II-like immunoreactivity.
Learn Mem. 1999 May; 6(3): 317–330.
Exogenous recombinant human transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta1) induced long-term facilitation of Aplysia sensory-motor synapses. In addition, 5-HT-induced facilitation was blocked by application of a soluble fragment of the extracellular portion of the TGF-beta1 type II receptor (TbetaR-II), which presumably acted by scavenging an endogenous TGF-beta1-like molecule. Because TbetaR-II is essential for transmembrane signaling by TGF-beta, we sought to determine whether Aplysia tissues contained TbetaR-II and specifically, whether neurons expressed the receptor. Western blot analysis of Aplysia tissue extracts demonstrated the presence of a TbetaR-II-immunoreactive protein in several tissue types. The expression and distribution of TbetaR-II-immunoreactive proteins in the central nervous system was examined by immunohistochemistry to elucidate sites that may be responsive to TGF-beta1 and thus may play a role in synaptic plasticity. Sensory neurons in the ventral-caudal cluster of the pleural ganglion were immunoreactive for TbetaR-II, as well as many neurons in the pedal, abdominal, buccal, and cerebral ganglia. Sensory neurons cultured in isolation and cocultured sensory and motor neurons were also immunoreactive. TGF-beta1 affected the biophysical properties of cultured sensory neurons, inducing an increase of excitability that persisted for at least 48 hr. Furthermore, exposure to TGF-beta1 resulted in a reduction in the firing threshold of sensory neurons. These results provide further support for the hypothesis that TGF-beta1 plays a role in long-term synaptic plasticity in Aplysia.
Animals, Aplysia, Blotting, Western, Cells, Cultured, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Electrophysiology, Ganglia, Invertebrate, Immunohistochemistry, Membranes, Neurons, Afferent, Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta, Transforming Growth Factor beta