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c-Fos expression in hypothalamic neurosecretory and brainstem catecholamine cells following noxious somatic stimuli
journal contributionposted on 1994-02-01, 00:00 authored by D W Smith, Trevor Day
Noxious somatic stimuli elicit vasopressin secretion, an effect thought to result from activation of a facilitatory input from A1 catecholamine cells of the medulla oblongata. To better characterize the A1 cell response and effects on other neuroendocrine A1 projection targets, particularly within the paraventricular nucleus, we have now mapped c-fos expression in neurochemically identified catecholamine and neurosecretory cells following a noxious somatic stimulus. Unilateral hind paw pinch significantly increased c-fos expression in contralateral A1 cells whereas other brainstem catecholamine cell groups were unaffected. Expression of c-fos was also increased in the supraoptic nucleus, this effect being more pronounced for vasopressin than oxytocin neurosecretory cells and, as with A1 cells, primarily on the side contralateral to the stimulated paw. In contrast, the increase in the paraventricular nucleus was greater in oxytocin rather than in vasopressin cells. Additionally there was a significant rise in c-fos expression in medial parvocellular paraventricular nucleus cells of noxiously stimulated animals. Notably, the majority of tuberoinfundibular corticotropin-releasing factor cells are located in this medial parvocellular zone. These results are consistent with and expand on those previously reported from electrophysiological and anatomical studies. The finding of differing neurosecretory cell responses between supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei has interesting implications with regard to the afferent control of neurosecretory cell activity. For example, the substantially greater activation of supraoptic versus paraventricular nucleus vasopressin cells, despite being innervated by the same medullary noradrenergic cell group, raises the possibility of a differential input or differences in responsiveness. Furthermore, the activation of paraventricular nucleus parvocellular cells is consistent with suggestions that the A1 cell group provides an excitatory input to this population.