Direct pyrogenic input from prostaglandin EP3 receptor-expressing preoptic neurons to the dorsomedial hypothalamus

Yoshiko Nakamura, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Kiyoshi Matsumura, Shigeo Kobayashi, Takeshi Kaneko, Shaun F. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Fever is induced by a neuronal mechanism in the brain. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 acts as a pyrogenic mediator in the preoptic area (POA) probably through the EP3 subtype of PGE receptor expressed on GABAergic neurons, and this PGE2 action triggers neuronal pathways for sympathetic thermogenesis in peripheral effector organs including brown adipose tissue (BAT). To explore pyrogenic efferent pathways from the POA, we determined projection targets of EP3 receptor-expressing POA neurons with a special focus on rat hypothalamic regions including the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH), which is known as a center for autonomic responses to stress. Among injections of cholera toxin b-subunit (CTb), a retrograde tracer, into hypothalamic regions at the rostrocaudal level of the DMH, injections into the DMH, lateral hypothalamic area (LH) and dorsal hypothalamic area (DH) resulted in EP3 receptor immunolabelling in substantial populations of CTb-labeled neurons in the POA. Bilateral microinjections of muscimol, a GABAA receptor agonist, into the DMH and a ventral region of the DH, but not those into the LH, inhibited thermogenic (BAT sympathetic nerve activity, BAT temperature, core body temperature and expired CO2) and cardiovascular (arterial pressure and heart rate) responses to an intra-POA PGE2 microinjection. Further immunohistochemical observations revealed a close association of POA-derived GABAergic axon swellings with DMH neurons projecting to the medullary raphe regions where sympathetic premotor neurons for febrile and thermoregulatory responses are localized. These results suggest that a direct projection of EP3 receptor-expressing POA neurons to the DMH/DH region mediates febrile responses via a GABAergic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3137-3146
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular regulation
  • Hyperthermia
  • Stress response
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct pyrogenic input from prostaglandin EP3 receptor-expressing preoptic neurons to the dorsomedial hypothalamus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this