Exercise training-induced remodeling of paraventricular nucleus (nor)adrenergic innervation in normotensive and hypertensive rats

Keila T. Higa-Taniguchi, Fabiana C.P. Silva, Helaine M.V. Silva, Lisete C. Michelini, Javier Eduardo Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Activation of oxytocin (OT)ergic projections from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) to the nucleus tractus solitarii contributes to cardiovascular adjustments during exercise training (EXT). Moreover, a deficit in this central OTergic pathway is associated with altered cardiovascular function in hypertension. Since PVN catecholaminergic inputs, known to be activated during EXT, modulate PVN cardiovascular-related functions, we aimed here to determine whether remodeling of PVN (nor)adrenergic innervation occurs during EXT and whether this phenomenon is affected by hypertension. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and tract tracing were used to quantify changes in (nor)adrenergic innervation density in PVN subnuclei and in identified dorsal vagal complex (DVC) projecting neurons (PVN-DVC) in EXT normotensive [Wistar-Kyoto rat (WKY)] and hypertensive [spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR)] rats. In WKY, EXT increased the density of PVN dopamine β-hydroxylase immunoreactivity (DBHir) (160%). Furthermore, the number and density of DBHir boutons overlapping PVN-DVC OTergic neurons were also increased during EXT (130%), effects that were blunted in SHR. Conversely, while DBHir in the medial parvocellular subnucleus (an area enriched in corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons) was not changed by EXT in WKY, a diminished DBHir was observed in trained SHR. Overall, these data support the concept that the PVN (nor)adrenergic innervation undergoes plastic remodeling during EXT, an effect that is differentially affected during hypertension. The functional implications of PVN (nor)adrenergic remodeling in relation to the central peptidergic control of cardiovascular function during EXT are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1717-R1727
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Catecholamines
  • Hypothalamus
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Synaptic remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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