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Expression of c-Fos in the hypothalamus and the cardiovascular response during stress in Parkinson's disease model rats

      It is known that Parkinson's disease (PD) shows an autonomic dysfunction, such as orthostatic hypotension, as well as disturbance of motility. Recently, it has been reported that central Orexin level is reduced in PD patients. Also, the orexin neurons are localized at the hypothalamus and may play key role on the autonomic response to stress. We hypothesized that function of the hypothalamic Orexin neurons against stress metamorphoses in the PD model rat. To verify this, we stained c-Fos expressed by air-puff stress and Orexin in the PD rats. The PD rat was made by injecting 6-hydroxdopamine into the medial forebrain bundle at 4 weeks before the air-puff challenge. In the PD rats, the air-puff stress caused pressor and tachycardic responses, but the cardiovascular responses were suppressed compared to sham-control animals. Expression of c-Fos in the dorsomedial hypothalamic area (DMH) significantly increased in the PD rats similar to the control rats. In contrast, c-Fos-positive and Fos/Orexin-double-positive nueorons in the PeF were significantly suppressed in the PD rats. The results suggest that the autonomic dysfunction also occur during the air-puff stress in the PD model rats and is related to poorly-reactive Orexin neurons in the PeF against the stress.
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