Circumventricular organs are specialized brain nuclei that lack a complete blood-brain barrier. These areas contain specialized sensory neurons to detect substances in the circulation to subsequently alter brain function. One such region, the subfornical organ, plays a pivotal role in body fluid homeostasis and autonomic function including neurogenic forms of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh) and guest expert Alastair Ferguson (Queen's University) join authors Sean Stocker (Penn State College of Medicine), Haley Nation (Penn State College of Medicine) and Brian Kinsman (Penn State College of Medicine) in an engaging discussion about their investigation into whether selective activation of subfornical organ neurons using virally-mediated expression of Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs, or DREADDs, stimulates thirst and salt appetite. Could neurons of the subfornical organ be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of body fluid homeostatic disorders and cardiovascular disease? Listen and find out.
DREADD-induced activation of subfornical organ neurons stimulates thirst and salt appetite
Haley L. Nation, Marvin Nicoleau, Brian J. Kinsman, Kirsteen N. Browning, Sean D. Stocker
Journal of Neurophysiology, published online March 30, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00149.2016.