Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) may cause sustained systemic hypertension by increasing sympathetic neural discharge (SND). We hypothesized that CIH alters brainstem circuits modulating SND. After 30 days of CIH exposure in rats, increased c-fos labeling was seen in the nucleus of the solitary tract and ventrolateral medulla as well as other brainstem regions involved in regulation of SND. Increased expression of c-fos after CIH may indicate changes in neuronal genetic transcription which ultimately modulate SND.
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.