Research Papers:

The caudal pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus may be involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle activity by melanocortin-sympathetic pathway: a virally mediated trans-synaptic tracing study in spinally transected transgenic mice

Zhi-Gang He, Bao-Wen Liu, Zhi-Xiao Li, Xue-Bi Tian, San-Guang Liu, Anne Manyande, Ding-Yu Zhang and Hong-Bing Xiang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:71859-71866. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17983

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Zhi-Gang He1, Bao-Wen Liu1, Zhi-Xiao Li1, Xue-bi Tian1, San-Guang Liu2, Anne Manyande3, Ding-Yu Zhang4 and Hong-Bing Xiang1

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China

2Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Second Hospital, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, People’s Republic of China

3School of Human and Social Sciences, University of West London, London, UK

4Intensive Care Unit, Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, Wuhan, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Hong-Bing Xiang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, melanocortin-4 receptor, skeletal muscle, pseudorabies virus, mouse

Received: October 04, 2016     Accepted: March 28, 2017     Published: May 18, 2017


Understanding neuroanatomical sympathetic circuitry and neuronal connections from the caudal pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus to skeletal muscle is important to the study of possible mechanisms of pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) and cuneiform nucleus (CnF) that are involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle activity of the sympathetic pathway. The aim of this study was to use virus PRV-614 to trace the melanocortin-sympathetic neural pathways from PPTg and CnF to a hindlimb muscle (gastrocnemius) in spinally transected MC4R-GFP transgenic mice. PRV-614 was injected into the gastrocnemius muscle after receiving a complete spinal cord transection below the L2 level. PRV-614/MC4R-GFP and PRV-614/TPH dual-labeled neurons were found in the dissipated parts of PPTg (dpPPTg), but not between the compact parts of PPTg (cpPPTg) and CnF. It is proposed that a hierarchical pathway of neurons within the caudal pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus sends projections to the RVLM, which in turn projects onto the IML sympathetic preganglionic neurons that regulate muscle blood flow through melanocortin-sympathetic signals. Our results collectively indicate that MC4Rs expressed in caudal pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus may be involved in skeletal muscle activity of melanocortin-sympathetic pathways.

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