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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Apr 24;397(3):291-6. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Microinjection of prostaglandin E2 and muscimol into the preoptic area in conscious rats: comparison of effects on plasma adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), body temperature, locomotor activity, and cardiovascular function.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


The preoptic area (POA) is thought to play an important role in thermoregulation and fever. Local application of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) to this region elicits increases in core body temperature, heart rate, and plasma levels of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). Similar effects on body temperature and heart rate have also been reported after local application of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol to the preoptic area. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the effects of microinjection of PGE2 and muscimol into the preoptic area in the same chronically instrumented conscious rats on plasma levels of ACTH. Injection of either PGE2 (150 pmol/100 nL) or muscimol (20 or 80 pmol/100 nL) into the same sites in the preoptic area evoked increases in body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and plasma levels of ACTH, while significant increases in locomotor activity were apparent only after muscimol. These data confirm and extend previous findings and support the notion that neurons in the region of the preoptic area exert tonic inhibition on downstream mechanisms capable of increasing the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as well as sympathetic thermogenic and cardiac activity.

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