Expression of melanocortin-4 receptor by rat parabrachial neurons responsive to immune and aversive stimuli
2006 (English)In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, Vol. 141, no 1, 287-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The pontine parabrachial nucleus is a major relay area for visceral and other interoceptive information, and has been implicated in mechanisms underlying anorexia and food aversion during disease. Thus, physiological studies have shown that peripheral immune stimuli, as well as the administration of aversive substances such as lithium chloride, evoke a prominent Fos-expression in the lateral parabrachial nucleus and behavioral experiments have demonstrated that this structure is critical for the acquisition of conditioned taste aversion. The present study examined in rats the relationship between parabrachial neurons activated by systemic administration of bacterial cell-wall lipopolysaccharide or lithium chloride and the melanocortin system, a major regulator of feeding and energy homeostasis that also has been implicated in aversive behavior. Dual-labeling in situ hybridization showed melanocortin-4 receptor expression on neurons in the external lateral parabrachial subnucleus that displayed lipopolysaccharide- or lithium chloride-induced expression of c-fos mRNA. Melanocortin-4 receptor mRNA was also co-expressed with mRNA for calcitonin gene-related peptide in this subnucleus. Taken together with previous observations showing that calcitonin gene-related peptide expressing neurons in the external lateral parabrachial subnucleus are activated by peripheral immune challenge, that lipopolysaccharide-activated external lateral parabrachial subnucleus neurons project to the amygdala, and that the amygdala-projecting neurons in the external lateral parabrachial subnucleus are calcitonin gene-related peptide-positive, the present findings suggest the presence of a melanocortin-regulated calcitonin gene-related peptide-positive pathway from the external lateral parabrachial subnucleus to the amygdala that relays information of importance to forebrain responses to certain aspects of sickness behavior. These observations may thus help explain how melanocortins can reduce feeding and influence conditioned taste aversion during inflammation and other disease conditions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 141, no 1, 287-297 p.
external lateral parabrachial nucleus; lipopolysaccharide; lithium chloride; c-fos; in situ hybridization; calcitonin gene-related peptide
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14083DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.03.041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14083DiVA: diva2:22592