A general pattern of CNS innervation of the sympathetic outflow demonstrated by transneuronal pseudorabies viral infections

Brain Res. 1989 Jul 3;491(1):156-62. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(89)90098-x.


Pseudorabies virus (PRV) injections of various sympathetic ganglia and the adrenal gland were made in rats. These produced immunohistochemically detectable retrograde viral infections of ipsilateral sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPNs) and transneuronal infections of the specific sets of second order neurons in the spinal cord and brain that innervate the infected SPNs. Five cell groups in the brain appear to regulate the entire sympathetic outflow: the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH), A5 noradrenergic cell group, caudal raphe region, rostral ventrolateral medulla, and ventromedial medulla. In addition, local interneurons in laminae VII and X of the spinal cord are also involved. Other CNS areas also became transneuronally labeled after infections of certain sympathetic ganglia, most notably the superior cervical and stellate ganglia. These areas include the central gray matter and lateral hypothalamic area. The zona incerta was uniquely labeled after stellate ganglion infections. The cell body labeling was specific. This specificity was demonstrated in the PVH where the neurons of the parvocellular PVH that form the descending sympathetic pathway were labeled in a topographic fashion. Finally, we demonstrate that the retrograde transneuronal viral cell body labeling method can be used simultaneously with either neuropeptide transmitter or transmitter synthetic enzyme immunohistochemistry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Central Nervous System / anatomy & histology*
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / cytology*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / metabolism


  • Neurotransmitter Agents