COX-2-Derived Prostaglandin E2 Produced by Pyramidal Neurons Contributes to Neurovascular Coupling in the Rodent Cerebral Cortex

Alexandre Lacroix, Xavier Toussay, Eitan Anenberg, Clotilde Lecrux, Nerea Ferreirós, Anastassios Karagiannis, Fabrice Plaisier, Patrick Chausson, Frédéric Jarlier, Sean A Burgess, Elizabeth M C Hillman, Irmgard Tegeder, Timothy H Murphy, Edith Hamel, Bruno Cauli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

UNLABELLED: Vasodilatory prostaglandins play a key role in neurovascular coupling (NVC), the tight link between neuronal activity and local cerebral blood flow, but their precise identity, cellular origin and the receptors involved remain unclear. Here we show in rats that NMDA-induced vasodilation and hemodynamic responses evoked by whisker stimulation involve cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity and activation of the prostaglandin E2 (PgE2) receptors EP2 and EP4. Using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that PgE2 is released by NMDA in cortical slices. The characterization of PgE2 producing cells by immunohistochemistry and single-cell reverse transcriptase-PCR revealed that pyramidal cells and not astrocytes are the main cell type equipped for PgE2 synthesis, one third expressing COX-2 systematically associated with a PgE2 synthase. Consistent with their central role in NVC, in vivo optogenetic stimulation of pyramidal cells evoked COX-2-dependent hyperemic responses in mice. These observations identify PgE2 as the main prostaglandin mediating sensory-evoked NVC, pyramidal cells as their principal source and vasodilatory EP2 and EP4 receptors as their targets.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Brain function critically depends on a permanent spatiotemporal match between neuronal activity and blood supply, known as NVC. In the cerebral cortex, prostaglandins are major contributors to NVC. However, their biochemical identity remains elusive and their cellular origins are still under debate. Although astrocytes can induce vasodilations through the release of prostaglandins, the recruitment of this pathway during sensory stimulation is questioned. Using multidisciplinary approaches from single-cell reverse transcriptase-PCR, mass spectrometry, to ex vivo and in vivo pharmacology and optogenetics, we provide compelling evidence identifying PgE2 as the main prostaglandin in NVC, pyramidal neurons as their main cellular source and the vasodilatory EP2 and EP4 receptors as their main targets. These original findings will certainly change the current view of NVC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11791-810
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2015


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