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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1991 Jul;69(7):1035-45.

Functional identification of central pressor pathways originating in the subfornical organ.

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Department of Physiology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


The functional projections from pressor sites in the subfornical organ (SFO) were identified using the 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) autoradiographic method in urethane-anesthetized, sinoaortic-denervated rats. Autoradiographs of brain and spinal cord sections taken from rats whose SFO was continuously stimulated electrically for 45 min with stereotaxically placed monopolar electrodes (150 microA, 1.5-ms pulse duration, 15 Hz) following injection of tritiated 2-DG were compared with control rats that received intravenous infusions of pressor doses of phenylephrine to mimic the increase in arterial pressure observed during SFO stimulation. Comparisons were also made to autoradiographs from rats in which the ventral fornical commissure (CFV), just dorsal to the SFO, was electrically stimulated. The pressor responses during either electrical stimulation of the SFO or intravenous infusion of phenylephrine were similar in magnitude. On the other hand, stimulation of the CFV did not elicit a significant pressor response. Electrical stimulation of the SFO increased 2-DG uptake, in comparison to the phenylephrine-infused rats, in the nucleus triangularis, septofimbrial nucleus, lateral septal nucleus, nucleus accumbens, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, dorsal and ventral nucleus medianus (median preoptic nucleus), paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, hippocampus, supraoptic nucleus, suprachiasmatic nucleus, paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and the intermediolateral nucleus of and central autonomic area of the thoracic spinal cord. In contrast, in rats whose CFV was stimulated, these nuclei did not demonstrate changes in 2-DG uptake compared with control animals that received pressor doses of phenylephrine. These data have demonstrated some of the components of the neural circuitry likely involved in mediating the pressor responses to stimulation of the SFO and the corrective responses to activation of the SFO by disturbances to circulatory and fluid balance homeostasis.

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