Relative contributions of the thalamus and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus to the cardiac sympathetic afferent reflex

Bo Xu, Hong Zheng, Kaushik P. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cardiac sympathetic afferent reflex (CSAR) is induced by stimulating the cardiac sympathetic afferents, which evokes increases in sympathetic outflow and arterial pressure. In the present study, we attempted to identify the contribution of thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei involved in the CSAR. First, we observed that there was an increase in the number of c-Fos-labeled cells in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) (190 ± 18 vs. 101 ± 15; P < 0.05), the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) (239 ± 23 vs. 151 ± 15; P < 0.05), and the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD) (92 ± 9 vs. 63 ± 6; P < 0.05) following epicardial application of bradykinin (BK) compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Second, using extracellular single-unit recording, we found 25% of spontaneously active neurons in the thalamus were stimulated by epicardial application of BK or capsaicin in intact rats. However, 24% of spontaneously active neurons in the thalamus were still stimulated by epicardial application of BK or capsaicin despite vagotomy and sinoaortic denervation. None of the neurons in the thalamus responded to baroreflex changes in arterial pressure, induced by intravenous injection of phenylephrine or sodium nitroprusside. The CSAR was inhibited by microinjection of muscimol or lidocaine into the PVN. However, it was not inhibited or blocked by microinjection of muscimol or lidocaine into the thalamus. Taken together, these data suggest that the thalamus, while activated, is not critical for autonomic adjustments in response to activation of the CSAR. On the other hand, the PVN is critically involved in the central pathway of the CSAR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R50-R59
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume305
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • Sympathetic activity
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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