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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jun;276(6):R1569-78. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.276.6.R1569.

CNS origins of the sympathetic nervous system outflow to brown adipose tissue.

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Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurosciences Program, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, USA.


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a critical role in cold- and diet-induced thermogenesis. Although BAT is densely innervated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), little is known about the central nervous system (CNS) origins of this innervation. The purpose of the present experiment was to determine the neuroanatomic chain of functionally connected neurons from the CNS to BAT. A transneuronal viral tract tracer, Bartha's K strain of the pseudorabies virus (PRV), was injected into the interscapular BAT of Siberian hamsters. The animals were killed 4 and 6 days postinjection, and the infected neurons were visualized by immunocytochemistry. PRV-infected neurons were found in the spinal cord, brain stem, midbrain, and forebrain. The intensity of labeled neurons in the forebrain varied from heavy infections in the medial preoptic area and paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus to few infections in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, with moderate infections in the suprachiasmatic and lateral hypothalamic nuclei. These results define the SNS outflow from the brain to BAT for the first time in any species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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