NADPH-diaphorase activity and c-fos expression in medullary neurons after fatiguing stimulation of hindlimb muscles in the rat

Vladimir A. Maisky, Alexander I. Pilyavskii, Ivana Kalezic, Milos Ljubisavljevic, Alexander I. Kostyukov, Uwe Windhorst, Håkan Johansson

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15 Citations (Scopus)


In anaesthetised rats, Fos-immunoreactive and NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurons in the medulla and, for comparison, in the spinal cord were studied after fatiguing stimulation of the hindlimb muscles. Following both direct muscle stimulation and L5 ventral root stimulation, fatigue-related c-fos gene expression was most prominent in the dorsal horn of the ipsilateral L2-L5 segments and within the ipsilateral nucleus tractus solitarius, the caudoventrolateral and rostroventrolateral reticular nuclei, and the intermediate reticular nucleus at levels of -14.3 and -13.8 mm, and contralaterally at -13.2 mm caudal to the bregma. The order of intensity of c-fos expression was as follows: nucleus tractus solitarius>caudoventrolateral and rostroventrolateral reticular nuclei>intermediate reticular nucleus>lateral paragigantocellular nucleus. NADPH-diaphorase reactivity was changed in the following sequence: NTS>intermediate reticular nucleus lateral paragigantocellular nucleus>rostroventrolateral reticular nucleus. Fos-immunoreactive neurons were codistributed with NADPH-diaphorase-reactive cells within the dorsomedial and ventrolateral medulla, and double-staining neurons were found in the nucleus tractus solitarius, intermediate reticular nucleus and lateral paragigantocellular nucleus. The patterns of distribution of c-fos expression and NADPH-diaphorase reactivity show that afferent signals arising from fatiguing muscles may activate spinal and medullary neurons which are involved in nociceptive and cardiovascular reflex pathways. The functional role of nitric oxide (NO) in the generation of cardiovascular and somatosensory responses in the medulla during fatigue of skeletal muscles is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2002


  • Dorsomedial medulla
  • Muscle pressor reflex
  • NADPH-diaphorase
  • Nitric oxide
  • Spinal cord
  • Ventrolateral medulla
  • c-Fos immunoreactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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