Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Comp Neurol. 2006 Jul 10;497(2):223-50.

Aldosterone-sensitive neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract: efferent projections.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Comp Neurol. 2006 Sep 20;498(3):431.


The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) contains a subpopulation of neurons that express the enzyme 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (HSD2), which makes them uniquely sensitive to aldosterone. These neurons may drive sodium appetite, which is enhanced by aldosterone. Anterograde and retrograde neural tracing techniques were used to reveal the efferent projections of the HSD2 neurons in the rat. First, the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin was used to label axonal projections from the medial NTS. Then, NTS-innervated brain regions were injected with a retrograde tracer, cholera toxin beta subunit, to determine which sites are innervated by the HSD2 neurons. The HSD2 neurons project mainly to the ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTvl), the pre-locus coeruleus (pre-LC), and the inner division of the external lateral parabrachial nucleus (PBel). They also send minor axonal projections to the midbrain ventral tegmental area, lateral and paraventricular hypothalamic nuclei, central nucleus of the amygdala, and periaqueductal gray matter. The HSD2 neurons do not innervate the ventrolateral medulla, a key brainstem autonomic site. Additionally, our tracing experiments confirmed that the BSTvl receives direct axonal projections from the neighboring A2 noradrenergic neurons in the NTS, and from the same pontine sites that receive major inputs from the HSD2 neurons (PBel and pre-LC). The efferent projections of the HSD2 neurons may provide new insights into the brain circuitry responsible for sodium appetite.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center