Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.511, No.2, 274-279, 2019
NO in the dPAG modulates panic-like responses and ASIC1a expression in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in mice
Panic disorder (PD) is a multifactorial neuropsychiatric disorder. Our previous study has demonstrated that the nitric oxide (NO) pathway and the acid-sensing ion channel la (ASIC1a) level in the dorsal midbrain periaqueductal gray (dPAG) are involved in the modulation of panic-like responses. In addition, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the hippocampus also play a role in panic-like responses. However, no studies have investigated the protein level of ASIC1a in the PFC and hippocampus in a mouse model of panic-like disorders after alteration of the NO pathway in the dPAG. We investigated the production of a panic attack with intra-dPAG injections of SNAP, an NO donor, and 7-NI, an nNOS inhibitor. Moreover, we measured ASIC1a protein levels in the PFC and hippocampus. The rat exposure test (RET) is frequently used as an animal model of panic. In our study, C57BL/6 mice received an intra-dPAG injection of SNAP or 7-NI before RET; neurobehavioral tests were then conducted, followed by mechanistic evaluation through western blot analysis in the PFC and hippocampus. An intra-dPAG infusion of SNAP significantly increased the panic-like effect, whereas treatment with 7-NI decreased fear behavior. Mice treated with SNAP/7-NI showed significantly increased/decreased ASIC1a expression in the PFC, and a decreasing/increasing trend in the hippocampus. The present study suggests that the NO pathway in the dPAG plays a key role in panic-like responses in mice confronted by a rat, further, NO intra-dPAG injection also modulates the ASIC1a expression levels in the PFC and hippocampus. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.