Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia Alters the Chloride Gradient in Median Preoptic Nucleus (MnPO) Neurons of Rats




Cunningham, J. Thomas
Farmer, George
Little, Joel
Bachelor, Martha
Rybalchenko, Nataliya
Yuan, Joseph


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Rats exposed to chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH), an animal model simulating hypoxemia associated with obstructive sleep apnea, exhibit persistent elevations in blood pressure during normoxic periods. In MnPO neurons, angiotensin II type 1 receptor function mediates reduced GABAa inhibition that becomes excitatory following CIH. Here, we use the ratiometric Cl- sensor, ClopHensorN, to monitor the chloride flux of MnPO neurons in normoxic (Norm) and CIH treated rats following GABAa activation. Using isoflurane anesthesia, male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-350g) received microinfusions of AAV9-Cre in the PVN and DIO-ClopHensorN in the MnPO. After recovery, rats underwent 7 consecutive days of CIH (6 min cycles of 3 min 21% O2, 3 min 10% O2 repeated 10x/h for 8 hours) or Normoxia. For ClopHensorN imaging, rats were anesthetized with isoflurane and coronal slices containing the MnPO were cut using standard in vitro slice procedures. Images were captured every 3s. Cl- flux was determined from the ratiometric response to 10s focal application of muscimol (100 uM). Twelve rats (6 Norm, 6 CIH) were used for ClopHensorN studies. In MnPO CIH neurons, 20.1% showed decreased fluorescent ratios while 0.3% showed increased ratios indicative of Cl- efflux. In MnPO Norm neurons, 41.9% showed a muscimol dependent decrease in fluorescent ratio with 0 cells showing an increase. The magnitude of muscimol dependent decreases in fluorescent ratios were reduced in CIH treated rats suggesting reduced GABAa inhibition. Results demonstrate CIH alters Cl- flux in PVN projecting MnPO. These changes may contribute to hypertension associated with CIH.