Mechanosensory stimulation evokes acute concussion-like behaviour by activating GIRKs coupled to muscarinic receptors in a simple vertebrate
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Most vertebrates show concussion responses when their heads are hit suddenly by heavy objects. Previous studies have focused on the direct physical injuries to the neural tissue caused by the concussive blow. We study a similar behaviour in a simple vertebrate, the Xenopus Laevis tadpole. We find that concussion-like behaviour can be reliably induced by the mechanosensory stimulation of the head skin without direct physical impacts on the brain. Head skin stimulation activates a cholinergic pathway which then opens G-protein coupled inward-rectifying potassium channels (GIRKs) via postsynaptic M2 muscarinic receptors to inhibit brainstem neurons critical for the initiation and maintenance of swimming for up to minutes and can explain many features commonly observed immediately after concussion. We propose that some acute symptoms of concussion in vertebrates can be explained by the opening of GIRKs following mechanosensory stimulation to the head.
Li , W , Zhu , X-Y & Ritson , E 2017 , ' Mechanosensory stimulation evokes acute concussion-like behaviour by activating GIRKs coupled to muscarinic receptors in a simple vertebrate ' eNeuro , vol 4 , no. 2 . DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0073-17.2017
Copyright © 2017 Li et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.
This work was supported by BBSRC (BB/L00111X).
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