Excitotoxin paraventricular nucleus lesions: stress and endocrine reactivity and oxytocin mRNA levels.

Article date: 1992/11/27

PubMed ID: 1477737

Journal name: Brain research (ISSN: 0006-8993)


Electrolytic lesion of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus blocks the tachycardia response to stress. The current study examined the effects of chemical lesion of PVN parvocellular neurons on the cardiovascular and endocrine responses to stress and on the content of hypothalamic oxytocin (OT) mRNA levels. Acute footshock stress increased heart rate in both ibotenic acid lesion and control groups of animals; however, the tachycardia was significantly lower in animals with a PVN lesion than the controls. Lesion of the PVN also attenuated the increase in plasma OT induced by stress, 4-fold in the lesion group versus 20-fold for the controls. There was not a generalized decrease in hormonal responsiveness since the OT response to an osmotic challenge was exaggerated in the lesion group. There was no difference between the groups in the arterial pressure and vasopressin responses to acute stress. Neurotoxin lesions of the PVN also resulted in significant depletions of VP and OT in all levels of the spinal cord and decreased OT levels in the dorsal brainstem. Ibotenic acid lesions of the PVN resulted in no significant changes in OT mRNA in the PVN, SON and PP. In addition, the 48-h dehydration resulted in a significant increase in plasma OT and OT mRNA in the PVN. These data indicate that the parvocellular neurons of the PVN play a role in integration of cardiovascular and endocrine responses to both stressful and osmotic stimuli and provide further evidence that parvocellular OT and VP neurons project to the brainstem and spinal cord.

Author List: Callahan M F, Thore C R, Sundberg D K, Gruber K A, O'Steen K, Morris M

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Substances mentioned in the article: RNA, Messenger; Vasopressins; Ibotenic Acid; Oxytocin;

Mesh terms: Animals; Brain Stem/metabolism; Ibotenic Acid; Male; Neurons/physiology; Osmotic Pressure; Oxytocin/genetics; Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus/cytology; Pituitary Gland/metabolism; RNA, Messenger/metabolism; Radioimmunoassay; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Spinal Cord/metabolism; Stress, Physiological/physiopathology; Vasopressins/secretion;

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