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High salt (HS) intake sensitizes central autonomic circuitry leading to sympathoexcitation. However, its underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We hypothesized that inhibition of PVN endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ store function would augment PVN neuronal excitability and sympathetic nerve activity (SNA). We further hypothesized that a 2% (NaCl) HS diet for 5 weeks would reduce ER Ca2+ store function and increase excitability of PVN neurons with axon projections to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (PVN-RVLM) identified by retrograde label. PVN microinjection of the ER Ca2+ ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin (TG) increased SNA and mean arterial pressure (MAP) in a dose-dependent manner in rats with a normal salt (NS) diet (0.4%NaCl). In contrast, sympathoexcitatory responses to PVN TG were significantly (p < 0.05) blunted in HS treated rats compared to NS treatment. In whole cell current-clamp recordings from PVN-RVLM neurons, graded current injections evoked graded increases in spike frequency. Maximum discharge was significantly augmented (p < 0.05) by HS diet compared to NS group. Bath application of TG (0.5 μM) increased excitability of PVN-RVLM neurons in NS (p < 0.05), yet had no significant effect in HS rats. Our data indicate that HS intake augments excitability of PVN-RVLM neurons. Inhibition of the ER Ca2+ ATPase and depletion of Ca2+ store likely plays a role in increasing PVN neuronal excitability, which may underlie the mechanisms of sympathoexcitation in rats with chronic HS intake.

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© 2017 Larson, Chapp, Gui, Huber, Cheng, Shan and Chen. Article deposited her in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record:

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Frontiers in Neuroscience

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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