Evidence for macular gravity receptor modulation of hypothalamic, limbic and autonomic nuclei

P. M. Fuller, T. A. Jones, S. M. Jones, C. A. Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Mice lacking normal vestibular gravity reception show altered homeostatic, circadian and autonomic responses to hypergravity (+G) exposure. Using c-Fos as a marker of neuronal activation, the current study identifies CNS nuclei that may be critical for initiating and integrating such responses to changes in vestibular signaling. This experiment utilized the mutant C57BL/6JEi-het mouse (het), which lacks macular otoconia and thus gravity receptor function. Following 2 h of 2G (2x Earth's gravity) exposure (via centrifugation) the neuronal responses of the het mice were compared with wildtype mice similarly exposed to 2G, as well as het and wildtype 1G controls. Wildtype mice exposed to 2G demonstrated robust c-Fos expression in multiple autonomic, hypothalamic and limbic nuclei, including: the lateral septum, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, amygdala, paraventricular hypothalamus, dorsomedial hypothalamus, arcuate, suprachiasmatic hypothalamus, intergeniculate leaflet, dorsal raphe, parabrachial and locus coeruleus. The het mice exposed to 2G demonstrated little to null c-Fos expression in these nuclei with a few exceptions and, in general, a similar pattern of c-Fos to 1G controls. Data from this study further support the existence of a complex and extensive influence of the neurovestibular system on homeostatic, circadian and possibly autonomic regulatory systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-471
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • amygdala
  • c-Fos
  • hypergravity
  • parabrachial
  • suprachiasmatic
  • vestibular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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