Nitric oxide synthase isozymes in spinally projecting PVN neurons are involved in CRF-induced sympathetic activation.
ABSTRACT In the brain, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) has been shown to activate the sympatho-adrenomedullary outflow, but the central mechanisms of action are still not fully understood. Previously, we reported that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is involved in central CRF-induced elevation of plasma catecholamines in rats. Nitric oxide is mainly synthesized by neuronal NOS (nNOS) and iNOS in many areas in the brain. Of these areas, the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN) contains neurons projecting to the intermediolateral cell column (IML) of the spinal cord, thereby directly affecting the sympathetic activity. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the effect of intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) administered CRF on plasma catecholamine levels and expression of NOS isozymes (iNOS and nNOS) and Fos (a marker for neuronal activation) in the spinally projecting PVN neurons, using rats microinjected with a monosynaptic retrograde tracer into the IML. CRF (1.5 nmol/animal, i.c.v.) effectively elevated plasma catecholamine levels. The spinally projecting neurons labeled with a tracer were detected in the dorsal cap, ventral part and posterior part of the PVN. CRF significantly increased the number of spinally projecting neurons triple-labeled with Fos and iNOS in all of these PVN subnuclei. On the other hand, CRF significantly increased the number of spinally projecting neurons triple-labeled with Fos and nNOS only in the ventral part of the PVN. These results suggest that in spinally projecting PVN neurons, iNOS mainly contributes to the centrally administered CRF-induced activation of the sympatho-adrenomedullary outflow in rats.
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ABSTRACT: The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus has efferent connections to autonomic nuclei known to ultimately regulate cardiovascular function. Studies have revealed projections to the sympathetic preganglionic neurons of the spinal cord and presympathetic motor neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla. This study set out to establish whether the same neurons in the paraventricular nucleus innervate both these regions. In rats the fluorescent neuroanatomical tracers FluoroGold, Fast Blue or Dextran tetramethyl rhodamine were injected into either the rostral ventrolateral medulla or T2 region of the spinal cord. After a suitable survival period (five to seven days) three populations of neurons could be identified in the paraventricular nucleus, double-labelled neurons and single-labelled neurons resulting from the injections into the spinal cord or injections into the rostral ventrolateral medulla. The neurons were of similar size regardless of the dye content. Most neurons were found in the parvocellular subdivision of the mid rostral paraventricular nucleus. The number of labelled neurons decreased in the caudal sections. This study provides an anatomical basis for three means of influence that the paraventricular nucleus can have on sympathetic activity; a hierarchical in series projection via the rostral ventrolateral medulla; a projection running in parallel with this but bypassing the rostroventrolateral medulla; and a branching population innervating neurons in both the rostral ventrolateral medulla and spinal cord. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus is an important brain area concerned with maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis. This anatomical study has not only provided confirmatory evidence that direct projections arising from the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus do project to the rostral ventrolateral medulla and spinal cord, regions known to influence cardiovascular regulation. The study has identified a branching projection originating in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus that projects to both the rostral ventrolateral medulla and the spinal cord. Thus the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus has three pathways in which to influence cardiovascular homeostasis.Neuroscience 02/2000; 100(3):549-56. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The extent of re-growth of catecholaminergic fibers, the survival of cholinergic neurons and the degree of autonomic dysreflexia were assessed in complete spinal cord-transected adult rats that received a repair treatment of peripheral nerve grafts and acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF). The rats were randomly divided into three groups: (1) sham control group (laminectomy only); (2) spinal cord transection at T8 (transected group); and (3) spinal cord transection at T8, followed by aFGF treatment and peripheral nerve graft (repaired group). The spinal cords and brains of all rats were collected at 6 months post-surgery. Immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH), and fluoro-gold (FG) retrograde tracing were used to evaluate axon growth across the damage site, and immunocytochemistry for choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) was used to evaluate cholinergic neuronal cell survival following the injury and treatment. When comparing with the transected group, the repaired group showed: (1) lower elevation of mean arterial pressure during colorectal distension; (2) retrogradely labeled neurons in the hypothalamus, zona incerta, subcoeruleus nuclei and rostral ventrolateral medulla following application of FG below the repair site; (3) the presence of TH- and DBH-labeled axons below the lesion site; (4) higher numbers of ChAT-positive neurons in ventral horn and intermediolateral column near the lesion site. We conclude that peripheral nerve graft and aFGF treatments facilitate the re-growth of catecholaminergic fibers, also protect sympathetic preganglionic neurons and spinal motor neurons, and reduce autonomic dysfunction in a T-8 spinal cord-transected rat model.European Journal of Neuroscience 03/2006; 23(3):693-702. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using neuronal NO synthase (nNOS)-specific antisense oligonucleotides, we examined the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) on control of blood pressure and heart rate (HR) in conscious sham rats and rats with chronic heart failure (CHF). After 6-8 wk, rats with chronic coronary ligation showed hemodynamic and echocardiographic signs of CHF. In sham rats, we found that microinjection of sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 20 nmol, 100 nl) into the PVN induced a significant decrease in mean arterial pressure (MAP). SNP also induced a significant decrease in HR over the next 10 min. In contrast, the NOS inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA, 200 pmol, 100 nl) significantly increased MAP and HR over the next 18-20 min. After injection of nNOS antisense, MAP was significantly increased in sham rats over the next 7 h. The peak response was 27.6 +/- 4.1% above baseline pressure. However, in the CHF rats, only MAP was significantly increased. The peak magnitude was 12.9 +/- 5.4% of baseline, which was significantly attenuated compared with sham rats (P < 0.01). In sham rats, the pressor response was completely abolished by alpha-receptor blockade. HR was significantly increased from hour 1 to hour 7 in sham and CHF rats. There was no difference in magnitude of HR responses. The tachycardia could not be abolished by the beta(1)-blocker metoprolol. However, the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine did not further augment the tachycardia. We conclude that NO induces a significant depressor and bradycardiac response in normal rats. The pressor response is mediated by an elevated sympathetic tone, whereas the tachycardia is mediated by withdrawal of parasympathetic tone in sham rats. These data are consistent with a downregulation of nNOS within the PVN in CHF.AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 01/2005; 288(1):H205-13. · 3.63 Impact Factor