PNMT-containing neurons of the C1 cell group express c-fos in response to changes in baroreceptor input

A. F. Sved, D. L. Mancini, J. C. Graham, A. M. Schreihofer, G. E. Hoffman

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The immunocytochemical detection of Fos, the protein product of the immediate-early gene c-fos, was used as a marker for activated neurons to examine whether the C1 neurons in the rat rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) respond to changes in baroreceptor afferent activity. After hydralazine-induced hypotension or sinoaortic denervation, two treatments that reduce baroreceptor afferent activity, numerous Fos-positive neurons were observed in the RVLM. The number of Fos-positive neurons in the RVLM was counted in brain stem sections from hydralazine-treated rats that had been previously injected with Fluorogold into the upper thoracic spinal cord to label spinally projecting RVLM neurons as well as stained for phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT) as a marker of C1 neurons. The results indicate that ~80% of the C1 neurons expressed Fos in response to hydralazine injection; this was true of spinally projecting C1 neurons as well as those C1 neurons that were not labeled with Fluorogold. Furthermore, in hydralazine-treated rats, the majority of Fluorogold-labeled Fos-positive neurons contained PNMT. These results suggest that C1 neurons are sensitive to baroreceptor afferent input and support a role of these neurons in cardiovascular regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R361-R367
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 35-2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • catecholamine
  • hypotension
  • sinoaortic denervation
  • ventrolateral medulla


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