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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2003 Nov;285(5):R1116-23. Epub 2003 Jul 31.

Brain regions expressing Fos during thermoregulatory behavior in rats.

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School of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Mikajima 2-579-15, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192, Japan.


We surveyed the neural substrata for behavioral thermoregulation with immunohistochemical analysis of the expression of Fos protein in the rat brain. We used an operant system in which a rat exposed to heat (40 degrees C) could get cold air (0 degrees C) for 30 s when it moved into the reward area. Rats moved in and out of the reward area of the system periodically and thus maintained their body temperature at a normal level. In the rats performing heat escape behavior (active group), strong Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR) was found in the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO), parastrial nucleus (PS), and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) compared with the controls. Another group of rats (passive group) were given the same temperature changes, regardless of the rat's movement, as those obtained by rats of the active group. Fos-IR in the MnPO was also seen in this group. The present results suggest that the PS and DMH play an important role in the genesis of thermoregulatory behavior, whereas the MnPO may be important for detecting changes in ambient and/or body temperatures.

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