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Brain Res. 1996 Mar 25;713(1-2):17-28.

Effect of lesions of forebrain circumventricular organs on c-fos expression in the central nervous system to plasma hypernatremia.

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


Experiments were carried out on conscious adult male Wistar rats to investigate the effect of selective ablation of the subfornical organ (SFO), and/or the anteroventral third ventricular (AV3V) region on the induction of Fos in central structures in response to plasma hypernatremia. Fos induction, detected immunohistochemically, was used as a marker for neuronal activation. Intravenous infusions of hypertonic saline resulted in dense Fos-like immunoreactivity in several forebrain (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH), supraoptic nucleus (SON), median preoptic nucleus (MnPO), medial preoptic nucleus, organum vasculosum of the laminae terminalis and (SFO) and brainstem (nucleus of the solitary tract, ventrolateral medulla, and parabrachial nucleus) structures. Intravenous infusions of the hypertonic saline solution into animals with lesions of either the SFO, the AV3V or both resulted in a decreased number of Fos-like immunoreactive neurons in the MnPO, PVH and SON. In addition, the number of Fos-labeled neurons in the SON after lesions of both the SFO and the AV3V was significantly greater than that observed in isotonic saline infused controls. Finally, lesions of the forebrain circumventricular structures did not alter the Fos labeling in brainstem structures as a result of the infusion of the hypertonic solution. These data suggest that changes in plasma osmolality and/or concentration of sodium alter the activity of SON and brainstem neurons in the absence of afferent inputs from the SFO and AV3V.

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