Central Neuronal Circuit Innervating the Lordosis-Producing Muscles Defined by Transneuronal Transport of Pseudorabies Virus

Derek Daniels, Richard R. Miselis, Loretta M. Flanagan-Cato
1999 Journal of Neuroscience  
The lordosis reflex is a hormone-dependent behavior displayed by female rats during mating. This study used the transneuronal tracer pseudorabies virus (PRV) to investigate the CNS network that controls the lumbar epaxial muscles that produce this posture. After PRV was injected into lumbar epaxial muscles, the time course analysis of CNS viral infection showed progressively more PRV-labeled neurons in higher brain structures after longer survival times. In particular, the medullary reticular
more » ... rmation, periaqueductal gray (PAG), and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMN) were sequentially labeled with PRV, which supports the proposed hierarchical network of lordosis control. Closer inspection of the PRV-immunoreactive neurons in the PAG revealed a marked preponderance of spheroid neurons, rather than fusiform or triangular morphologies. Furthermore, PRV-immunoreactive neurons were concentrated in the ventrolateral column, rather than the dorsal, dorsolateral, or lateral columns of the PAG. Localization of the PRV-labeled neurons in the VMN indicated that the majority were located in the ventrolateral subdivision, although some were also in other subdivisions of the VMN. As expected, labeled cells also were found in areas traditionally associated with sympathetic outflow to blood vessels and motor pathways, including the intermediolateral nucleus of the spinal cord, the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, the red nucleus, and the motor cortex. These results suggest that the various brain regions along the neuraxis previously implicated in the lordosis reflex are indeed serially connected.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.19-07-02823.1999 pmid:10087093 fatcat:z35umdyovjgc7drpq4d6uydm7e