The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) projects to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) and to the intermediolateral cell column (IML) of the spinal cord. The present study determined whether the same neurons can innervate both regions. In each rat, two retrogradely-transported tracers, microspheres tagged with fluorescein or rhodamine, were injected into the left lower thoracic/upper lumbar IML (fluorescein) and into the pressor region of the left RVLM (rhodamine). In the PVN over 90% of the neurons labelled with either tracer were found ipsilateral to the injection site. Double labelled cells averaged almost one-third of the spinally-projecting cells in four of the five animals. In the remaining animal, there were few double-labelled cells. The results suggest that a population of PVN neurons innervates both the lower-thoracic/upper lumbar IML and the RVLM.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.