Inhibition of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis by neurons in the ventrolateral medulla and in the nucleus tractus solitarius

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Abstract

Neurons in the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) and in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) play important roles in the regulation of cardiovascular and other autonomic functions. In the present study, we demonstrate an inhibition of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis evoked by activation of neurons in the VLM, as well as by neurons in the intermediate NTS, of chloralose/urethane- anesthetized, artificially ventilated rats. Activation of neurons in either rostral VLM or caudal VLM with N-methyl-D-aspartate (12 nmol) reversed the cold-evoked increase in BAT sympathetic nerve activity (SNA), BAT temperature, and end-expired CO2. Disinhibition of neurons in either VLM or NTS with the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline (30 pmol), reversed the increases in BAT SNA, BAT temperature, and end-expired CO2 that were elicited 1) by cold defense; 2) during the febrile model of nanoinjection of prostaglandin E2 into the medial preoptic area; 3) by activation of neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus or in the rostral raphe pallidus (rRPa); or 4) by the μ-opioid receptor agonist fentanyl. Combined, but not separate, inhibitions of neurons in the VLM and in the NTS, with the GABA A receptor agonist, muscimol (120 pmol/site), produced increases in BAT SNA, BAT temperature, and expired CO2, which were reversed by nanoinjection of glycine (30 nmol) into the rRPa. These findings suggest that VLM and NTS contain neurons whose activation inhibits BAT thermogenesis, that these neurons receive GABAergic inputs that are active under these experimental conditions, and that neurons in both sites contribute to the tonic inhibition of sympathetic premotor neuronal activity in the rRPa that maintains a low level of BAT thermogenesis in normothermic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume299
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

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Keywords

  • Chemoreceptor
  • Fentanyl
  • Raphe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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