Author(s): Yang H, Wang L, Ju G
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Abstract It has been well documented that the medial parvocellular subnucleus of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) participates in immune regulation by releasing corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which triggers the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, leading to immunosuppression. Little is known about other possible influences of PVN on immunomodulation. Evidence, however, has been accumulating recently, indicating possible involvement of other subnuclei of this nucleus. By using the c-fos technique, the present study investigated the neuronal groups of the PVN that were activated in response to intracerebroventricularly administered IL-1 beta. In addition to strong Fos expression in the dorsal part of medial parvocellular subnucleus of the PVN, where CRH neurons are located, two more neuronal groups were found to express Fos protein. One of which was the oxytocin-immunoreactive magnocellular neurons, mainly concentrated in the anterior and medial magnocellular subnuclei of the PVN. The magnocellular PVN subnuclei are known to project to, and release their hormones, in the posterior pituitary. Another group of Fos-immunoreactive neurons were found in the brainstem and spinal cord projecting area of the PVN. By combining retrograde tracing technique and Fos immunohistochemistry, it was proved that many of the spinal cord projecting PVN neurons were activated following IL-1 beta administration, through which the spinal cord sympathetic outflow might be regulated. The present study indicates that the hypothalamic PVN may serve as an integrative center for immunomodulation via three channels, i.e., the CRH and oxytocin neuroendocrinological and the PVN-spinal cord sympathetic neural channels.
This article was published in Neuroimmunomodulation
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access