TITLE

Collateralization of projections from the rostral ventrolateral medulla to the rostral and caudal thoracic spinal cord in felines

AUTHOR(S)
Gowen, Michael; Ogburn, Sarah; Suzuki, Takeshi; Sugiyama, Yoichiro; Cotter, Lucy; Yates, Bill
PUB. DATE
July 2012
SOURCE
Experimental Brain Research;Jul2012, Vol. 220 Issue 2, p121
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Stimulation of vestibular receptors elicits distinct changes in blood flow to the forelimb and hindlimb, showing that the nervous system has the capacity to produce changes in sympathetic outflow which are specific for a particular region of the body. However, it is unclear whether the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), the primary region of the brainstem that regulates sympathetic outflow to vascular smooth muscle, has the appropriate connectivity with sympathetic preganglionic neurons to generate anatomically patterned responses. To make this determination, the retrograde fluorescent tracer Fast Blue was injected into the T spinal cord segment of cats, which regulates upper body blood flow, whereas Fluoro-Ruby was injected into the T segment to label projections to a region of the spinal cord that regulates lower body blood flow. More neurons were single-labeled by a particular tracer (92 %) than were double labeled by both tracers (8 %), supporting the notion that the RVLM can regulate sympathetic outflow from a limited number of spinal cord segments. Since a large fraction of RVLM neurons that control sympathetic outflow in rodents contain epinephrine, we additionally determined whether the tracer-labeled cells were immunopositive for the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), which participates in the synthesis of catecholamines. Double labeling by the two tracers injected into the spinal cord was more common for TH-immunopositive neurons than for the general population of RVLM neurons: 19 % of the TH-positive cells contained both Fast Blue and Fluoro-Ruby, 30 % contained one of the tracers, and 51 % were not labeled by either tracer. Furthermore, many spinally projecting neurons in close proximity to the RVLM catecholaminergic neurons (41 % of the population) were not immunopositive for TH, suggesting that feline RVLM is neurochemically heterogeneous.
ACCESSION #
77057979

 

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