Dopaminergic input from the posterior hypothalamus to the raphe pallidus area inhibits brown adipose tissue thermogenesis

Ellen P.S.Conceição Furber, Clarissa M.D. Mota, Edward Veytsman, Shaun F. Morrison, Christopher J. Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Systemic administration of dopamine (DA) receptor agonists leads to falls in body temperature. However, the central thermoregulatory pathways modulated by DA have not been fully elucidated. Here we identified a source and site of action contributing to DA's hypothermic action by inhibition of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Nanoinjection of the type 2 and type 3 DA receptor (D2R/D3R) agonist, 7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propyl-2-aminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT), in the rostral raphe pallidus area (rRPa) inhibits the sympathetic activation of BAT evoked by cold exposure or by direct activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the rRPa. Blockade of D2R/D3R in the rRPa with nanoinjection of SB-277011A increases BAT thermogenesis, consistent with a tonic release of DA in the rRPa contributing to inhibition of BAT thermogenesis. Accordingly, D2Rs are expressed in cold-activated and serotonergic neurons in the rRPa, and anatomical tracing studies revealed that neurons in the posterior hypothalamus (PH) are a source of dopaminergic input to the rRPa. Disinhibitory activation of PH neurons with nanoinjection of gabazine inhibits BAT thermogenesis, which is reduced by pretreatment of the rRPa with SB-277011A. In conclusion, the rRPa, the site of sympathetic premotor neurons for BAT, receives a tonically active, dopaminergic input from the PH that suppresses BAT thermogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R938-R950
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • 7-OH-DPAT
  • SB-277011A
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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