Evaluation of the bilateral cardiac afferent distribution at the spinal and vagal ganglia by retrograde labeling
AuthorAkgül Çağlar, Tuba
Durdu, Zeynep Begüm
Turhan, M. U.
Günal, Mehmet Yalçın
Aydın, Mehmet Şerif
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CitationAkgül Çağlar, T., Durdu, Z. B., Turhan, M. U., Günal, M. Y., Aydın, M. Ş., Öztürk, G. ... Çağavi, E. (2021). Evaluation of the bilateral cardiac afferent distribution at the spinal and vagal ganglia by retrograde labeling. Brain Research, 1751. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2020.147201
The identity of sensory neurons innervating the heart tissue and the extent of information reported to the brain via these neurons are poorly understood. In order to evaluate the multidimensional distribution and abundance of the cardiac spinal and vagal afferents, we assessed the retrograde labeling efficiency of various tracers, and mapped the cardiac afferents qualitatively and quantitatively at the bilateral nodose ganglia (NGs) and dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). From the five different retrograde tracers evaluated, Di-8-ANEPPQ yielded reproducibly the highest labeling efficiency of cardiac afferents. We demonstrated specific cardiac afferents at NGs and C4 to T11 DRG segments. Next, the 2D reconstruction of the tissue sections and 3D imaging of the whole NGs and DRGs revealed homogeneous and bilateral distribution of cardiac afferents. The quantitative analyses of the labeled cardiac afferents demonstrated approximately 5-6% of the soma in NGs that were equally distributed bilaterally. The neuronal character of Di-8-ANEPPQ labeled cells were validated by coimmunostaning with pan-neuronal marker Tuj-1. In addition, the cell diameters of labeled cardiac sensory neurons were found smaller than 20 mu m, implying the nociceptor phenotype confirmed by co-labeling with TRPV1 and Di-8-ANEPPQ. Importantly, co-labeling with two distinct tracers Di-8-ANEPPQ and WGA-647 demonstrated exclusively the same cardiac afferents in DRGs and NGs, validating our findings. Collectively, our findings revealed the cardiac afferents in NGs bilaterally and DRGs with the highest labeling efficiency reported, spatial distribution and quantitation at both 2D and 3D levels, furthering our understanding of this novel neuron population.