Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2004 Jun;8(3):133-140.

Activation of Vestibular Neurons Projecting to Autonomic Brain Stem Nuclei Following Acute Hypotension in Rats

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Physiology, Wonkwang University School of Medicine and Vestibulocochlear Research Center at Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Korea. byungp@wonkwang.ac.kr

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the possible involvement of the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) and inferior vestibular nucleus (IVN) following acute hypotension in the vestibulo- autonomic reflex through vestibulosolitary or vestibuloventrolateral projections. Acute hypotension- induced cFos expression was assessed in combination with retrograde cholera toxin B subunit (CTb) tract tracing. After injection of CTb into the solitary region, CTb-labeled neurons were located prominently around the lateral borders of the caudal MVN and medial border of the IVN. The superior vestibular nucleus also had a scattered distribution of CTb-labeled neurons. After injection of CTb toxin into the unilateral VLM, the distributions of CTb-labeled neurons in the MVN and IVN were similar to that observed after injection into the solitary region, although there were fewer CTb-labeled neurons. In the caudal MVN, about 38% and 13% of CTb-labeled neurons were double-labeled for cFos after injection of CTb into the solitary region and the VLM, respectively. In the IVN, 14% and 7% of CTb-labeled neurons were double-labeled for cFos after injection of CTb into the solitary region and the VLM, respectively. Therefore, the present study suggests that acute arterial hypotension may result in activation of vestibulosolitary pathways that mediate behavioral and visceral reflexes, and vestibuloventrolateral medullary pathways that indirectly mediate vestibulosympathetic responses.

Keyword

Hypotension; Nucleus tractus solitarius; Medial vestibular nucleus; c-Fos; Cholera toxin B
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