The magnocellular oxytocin neurons within the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei (PVN and SON) of the hypothalamus are important relays in the milk ejection reflex in lactating animals, and are activated by suckling. It has been suggested that proto-oncogene transcription factors such as Fos/Jun act as early nuclear transducers of sensory stimuli in neurons. Therefore, we have studied with immunohistochemistry Fos-related antigens (FRAs) as a marker for neuronal activity in the PVN and SON during suckling in lactating rats. In nonlactating rats, only few cells exhibiting FRAs were observed in these nuclei. Also in lactating rats subjected to continuous suckling Fos-like activity was low. In contrast, lactating rats separated from their pups for 4 h and then exposed to suckling for 1 h expressed strong Fos-like immunoreactivity, both in vasopressin and oxytocin neurons. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry we have also investigated the expression of the mRNAs for oxytocin, dynorphin, galanin and galanin message-associated peptide and of oxytocin and dynorphin in the PVN of lactating and nonlactating rats. In lactating rats, an increase in oxytocin and dynorphin and their mRNAs was observed, whereas mRNAs for galanin and galanin message-associated peptide were downregulated. With the help of immunohistochemistry and double-staining methods, a substantial coexistence between oxytocin- and dynorphin-like immunoreactivities was shown in magnocellular neurons. These results indicate that FRAs are activated in the PVN in the beginning of a suckling period, while this response cannot be seen after continuous stimulation. Furthermore, in the PVN of lactating rats, an upregulation of oxytocin and dynorphin occurs while galanin expression decreases. Finally, the coexistence between oxytocin and dynorphin is more pronounced in lactating rats and nonlactating female rats than has previously been described in male rats.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.