Title

Projections from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and the nucleus of the solitary tract to prechoroidal neurons in the superior salivatory nucleus: Pathways controlling rodent choroidal blood flow

Abstract

Using intrachoroidal injection of the transneuronal retrograde tracer pseudorabies virus (PRV) in rats, we previously localized preganglionic neurons in the superior salivatory nucleus (SSN) that regulate choroidal blood flow (ChBF) via projections to the pterygopalatine ganglion (PPG). In the present study, we used higher-order transneuronal retrograde labeling following intrachoroidal PRV injection to identify central neuronal cell groups involved in parasympathetic regulation of ChBF via input to the SSN. These prominently included the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), both of which are responsive to systemic BP and are involved in systemic sympathetic vasoconstriction. Conventional pathway tracing methods were then used to determine if the PVN and/or NTS project directly to the choroidal subdivision of the SSN. Following retrograde tracer injection into SSN (biotinylated dextran amine 3K or Fluorogold), labeled perikarya were found in PVN and NTS. Injection of the anterograde tracer, biotinylated dextran amine 10K (BDA10K), into PVN or NTS resulted in densely packed BDA10K+ terminals in prechoroidal SSN (as defined by its enrichment in nitric oxide synthase-containing perikarya). Double-label studies showed these inputs ended directly on prechoroidal nitric oxide synthase-containing neurons of SSN. Our study thus establishes that PVN and NTS project directly to the part of SSN involved in parasympathetic vasodilatory control of the choroid via the PPG. These results suggest that control of ChBF may be linked to systemic blood pressure and central control of the systemic vasculature.

Publication Title

Brain Research

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