Role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus in the cardiovascular responses to elevations in body temperature

Cham, J 2007, Role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus in the cardiovascular responses to elevations in body temperature, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Medical Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus in the cardiovascular responses to elevations in body temperature
Author(s) Cham, J
Year 2007
Abstract The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) is known to be a major integrative region within the forebrain. It is composed of functionally different subgroups of neurons, including the parvocellular neurons that project to important autonomic targets in the brainstem e.g. the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) and the intermediolateral cell column (IML) of the spinal cord, where the sympathetic preganglionic motor-neurons are located. These regions are critical in cardiovascular regulation; hence, these projections are likely to mediate the effects of the PVN on sympathetic nerve activity and hence may contribute to the cardiovascular changes induced by physiological stimuli such as elevations in body temperature.

The neurotransmitter such as nitric oxide (NO) is important in cardiovascular regulation and it is now emerging as a major focus of investigation in thermoregulation. One of the most striking accumulations of NO containing-neurons is in the PVN where it appears to be playing an important role in cardiovascular regulation and body fluid homeostasis.

The results of the work show;

1. That spinally-projecting and nitrergic neurons in the PVN may contribute to the central pathways activated by exposure to a hot environment.

2. Suggests that nitrergic neurons and spinally- projecting neurons in the brainstem may make a small contribution to the central pathways mediating the reflex responses initiated by hyperthermia.

3. The present study also illustrates that these PVN neurons projecting to the RVLM may make a smaller contribution than the spinal-projecting neurons in the PVN to the cardiovascular responses initiated by heat.

4. The results of my studies showed that the microinjection of muscimol to inhibit the neuronal activity in the PVN abolished the reflex decrease in renal blood flow following an elevation of core body temperature. In addition, this effect was specific to the PVN, since microinjections of muscimol into areas outside the PVN were not effective. These findings demonstrate that the PVN is critical for this reflex cardiovascular response initiated by hyperthermia.

In conclusion, PVN is critical for the reflex decrease in renal blood flow during elevations in core body temperature. We hypothesise that projections from the PVN to the spinal cord and the RVLM contribute to the reflex cardiovascular responses. Additionally, nitrergic neurons in the PVN may contribute but the physiological role of those neurons in the reflex responses elicited by hyperthermia needs to be investigated.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Medical Sciences
Keyword(s) Body temperature Regulation
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