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Brain Res. 1999 Jul 10;834(1-2):55-65.

Increased c-fos expression in spinal lumbosacral projection neurons and preganglionic neurons after irritation of the lower urinary tract in the rat.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, E1304 BST, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Chemical irritation of the lower urinary tract (LUT) induces c-fos expression in neurons in the lumbosacral (L(6) and S(1)) spinal cord. This study used axonal tracing with fluorescent dyes to identify the types of spinal neurons expressing Fos immunoreactivity (IR) after LUT irritation in the rat. Fos-IR was detected in lateral and medial superficial dorsal horn, the sacral parasympathetic nucleus (SPN) and lamina X around the central canal. Fos-IR was detected in spinal neurons projecting to supraspinal sites (brainstem and hypothalamus), in preganglionic neurons (PGN) and in unlabeled segmental interneurons. A substantial percentage (20%) of dye labeled PGN exhibited Fos-IR after LUT irritation; and a larger percentage (36%) exhibited Fos-IR after electrical stimulation of the pelvic nerve which contains afferent pathways from all of the pelvic organs. The majority (average 55%) of Fos-positive neurons projecting to supraspinal sites were also located in the region of the SPN. A selective distribution of different types of neurons was detected in this region: PGN were located ventral to the spinal projection neurons which in turn were located ventral to the majority of unidentified Fos-positive neurons. The distribution of Fos-positive PGN and projection neurons was similar in spinal intact and spinal transected animals indicating that c-fos expression was mediated by monosynaptic afferent input or input from segmental interneurons and was not due to activation of supraspinal micturition reflex pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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