Activation of brain areas in rat following warm and cold ambient exposure
ABSTRACT Environmental thermal stimuli result in specific and coordinated thermoregulatory response in homeothermic animals. Warm exposure activates numerous brain areas within the cortex, hypothalamus, pons and medulla oblongata. We identified these thermosensitive cell groups in the medulla and pons that were suggested but not outlined by previous physiological studies. Using Fos immunohistochemistry, we localized all the nuclei and cell groups in the rat brain that were activated by warm and cold ambient exposure. These neurons located in the hypothalamus and the brainstem, are part of a network responsible for the thermospecific response elicited by thermal stress. Comparison of the distribution of Fos-immunoreactive cells throughout the rat brain revealed topographical differences between the patterns of activated cells following warm and cold environmental exposure. Among several brain regions, warm exposure elicited c-fos expression specifically in the ventrolateral part of the medial preoptic area, the central subdivision of the lateral parabrachial nucleus and the caudal part of the peritrigeminal nucleus, whereas cold stress resulted in c-fos expression in the ventromedial part of the medial preoptic area, the external subdivision of the lateral parabrachial nucleus and the rostral part of the peritrigeminal nucleus. These neurons are part of a network coordinating specific response to warm or cold exposure. The topographical differences suggest that well-defined cell groups and subdivisions of nuclei are responsible for the specific physiological (endocrine, autonomic and behavioral) changes observed in different thermal environment.
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ABSTRACT: Like all articles in BMC journals, this peer-reviewed article can be downloaded, printed and distributed freely for any purposes (see copyright notice below).Thrombosis Journal 12/2014; 12:31. DOI:10.1186/s12959-014-0031-z · 1.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thermogenesis, the production of heat energy, in brown adipose tissue is a significant component of the homeostatic repertoire to maintain body temperature during the challenge of low environmental temperature in many species from mouse to man and plays a key role in elevating body temperature during the febrile response to infection. The sympathetic neural outflow determining brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis is regulated by neural networks in the CNS which increase BAT sympathetic nerve activity in response to cutaneous and deep body thermoreceptor signals. Many behavioral states, including wakefulness, immunologic responses, and stress, are characterized by elevations in core body temperature to which central command-driven BAT activation makes a significant contribution. Since energy consumption during BAT thermogenesis involves oxidation of lipid and glucose fuel molecules, the CNS network driving cold-defensive and behavioral state-related BAT activation is strongly influenced by signals reflecting the short- and long-term availability of the fuel molecules essential for BAT metabolism and, in turn, the regulation of BAT thermogenesis in response to metabolic signals can contribute to energy balance, regulation of body adipose stores and glucose utilization. This review summarizes our understanding of the functional organization and neurochemical influences within the CNS networks that modulate the level of BAT sympathetic nerve activity to produce the thermoregulatory and metabolic alterations in BAT thermogenesis and BAT energy expenditure that contribute to overall energy homeostasis and the autonomic support of behavior. © 2014 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 4: 1677-1713, 2014.