Water deprivation increases Fos immunoreactivity in PVN autonomic neurons with projections to the spinal cord and rostral ventrolateral medulla

Sean D. Stocker, J. Thomas Cunningham, Glenn M. Toney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


The present study sought to determine whether water deprivation increases Fos immunoreactivity, a neuronal marker related to synaptic activation, in sympathetic-regulatory neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Fluorogold (4%, 50 nl) and cholera toxin subunit B (0.25%, 20-30 nl) were microinjected into the spinal cord (T1-T3) and rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), respectively. Rats were then deprived of water but not food for 48 h. Water deprivation significantly increased the number of Fos-positive nuclei throughout the dorsal, ventrolateral, and lateral parvocellular divisions of the PVN (water deprived, 215 ± 23 cells; control, 45 ± 7 cells, P < 0.01). Moreover, a significantly greater number of Fos-positive nuclei were localized in spinally projecting (11 ± 3 vs. 2 ± 1 cells, P < 0.025) and RVLM-projecting (45 ± 7 vs. 7 ± 1 cells, P < 0.025) neurons of the PVN in water-deprived vs. control rats, respectively. The majority of these double-labeled neurons was found in the ventrolateral and lateral parvocellular divisions of the ipsilateral PVN. Interestingly, a significantly greater percentage of RVLM-projecting PVN neurons were Fos positive compared with spinally projecting PVN neurons in the ventrolateral (25.8 ± 0.7 vs. 8.0 ± 1.5%, respectively, P < 0.01) and lateral (23.4 ± 2.1 vs. 5.0 ± 0.9%, respectively, P > 0.01) parvocellular divisions. In addition, we analyzed spinally projecting neurons of the RVLM and found a significantly greater percentage were Fos positive in water-deprived rats than in control rats (26 ± 3 vs. 3 ± 1%, respectively; P < 0.001). Collectively, the present findings indicate that water deprivation evokes a distinct cellular response in sympathetic-regulatory neurons of the PVN and RVLM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1172-R1183
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 56-5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this