Hemorrhage induces Fos immunoreactivity in rat medullary catecholaminergic neurons

Brain Res. 1993 Apr 16;608(2):223-32. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)91462-2.


In urethane anesthetized rats one hour after lowering the systolic blood pressure to 70-75 mmHg by withdrawing 3-4 ml of blood, Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR), confined to the cell nucleus, was detected bilaterally in numerous cells of the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM). A few Fos-IR neurons were observed in the lateral reticular nucleus, dorsal medullary reticular nucleus, spinal trigeminal nucleus, medial inferior olive, interfasciculus hypoglossi and paramedian rostral medulla. In sham-operated animals, a much smaller number of Fos-IR neurons were scattered in the NTS, VLM and other nuclei mentioned above. Double labeling with antisera to tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH) and phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT) showed that 60% of TH-positive neurons in the NTS contained Fos-IR, and 70-80% of TH-positive neurons in the caudal VLM and 50-60% of PMNT-positive neurons in the rostral VLM expressed Fos-IR. Only a few TH- or PNMT-positive neurons in the C2, C3 (paramedian rostral medulla) areas and within the medial longitudinal fasciculus were Fos-IR. About 40% of PNMT/Fos-IR neurons in the rostral VLM contained the retrograde tracer fluorogold, which was injected (< 1 microliter) into the white matter dorsolateral to the intermediolateral cell column of T2-T3 segments 2 to 3 days prior to hemorrhagic experiments. Very few TH-positive neurons in the caudal VLM contained fluorogold. Finally, clusters of Fos-IR neurons, which also labeled with antisera to choline acetyltransferase, were detected in the intermediolateral cell column of the spinal cord. The results indicate that during hemorrhage aminergic neurons in the caudal and rostral VLM and in the NTS are activated insofar as c-fos expression is concerned. As a corollary, the monoaminergic neurons in the medulla constitute an essential component in the ascending as well as descending reflex pathway involved in the adjustment of cardiovascular dynamics during hemorrhage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catecholamines / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Medulla Oblongata / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase / immunology
  • Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Stilbamidines*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / immunology
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • 2-hydroxy-4,4'-diamidinostilbene, methanesulfonate salt
  • Catecholamines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Stilbamidines
  • Serotonin
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase