File(s) under permanent embargo

Descending pathways from the paraventricular nucleus contribute to the recruitment of brainstem nuclei following a systemic immune challenge

journal contribution
posted on 2003-04-25, 00:00 authored by K Buller, C Dayas, Trevor Day
Hypothalamic nuclei, particularly the paraventricular nuclei (PVN), are important brain sites responsible for central nervous system responses during an immune challenge. The brainstem catecholamine cells of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM) have been shown to play critical roles in relaying systemic immune signals to the PVN. However, whilst it is well recognised that PVN divisions also innervate the NTS and VLM, it is not known whether descending PVN pathways can modulate the recruitment of brainstem cells during an immune challenge. Using systemic administration of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β, in combination with Fos immunolabelling, we firstly investigated the effect of PVN lesions on NTS and VLM catecholamine and non-catecholamine cell responses. We found that ibotenic acid lesions of the PVN significantly reduced numbers of Fos-positive non-catecholamine, noradrenergic and adrenergic cells observable in the VLM and NTS after interleukin-1β administration. We then investigated the origins of descending inputs to the VLM and NTS, activated by systemic interleukin-1β, by mapping the distribution of Fos-positive retrogradely-labelled cells in divisions of the PVN after iontophoretically depositing choleratoxin-b subunit into the NTS or VLM one week prior to interleukin-1β administration. We found that, after either NTS or VLM deposits, the majority of retrogradely-labelled Fos-positive cells activated by interleukin-1β were localised in the medial and lateral parvocellular PVN divisions. Retrogradely-labelled Fos-positive cells were also observed in the NTS after VLM deposits, and in the VLM after NTS tracer deposits, suggesting reciprocal communication between these two nuclei after systemic interleukin-1β. Thus the present study shows that the PVN has the capacity to modulate NTS and VLM responses after an immune challenge and that these may result from descending projections arising in the medial and lateral PVN divisions. These findings suggest that central nervous system responses to an immune challenge are likely to involve complex reciprocal connections between the PVN and the brainstem as well as between brainstem nuclei themselves.









189 - 203




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, IBRO