Fos-like immunoreactivity in the brain of homozygous diabetes insipidus Brattleboro and normal Long-Evans rats

S. E F Guldenaar, Stephen C Noctor, J. T. McCabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Water deprivation induces the production of the transcription factor Fos in neurons of the neurohypophysial system. These neurons, which are located primarily in the hypothalamic paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic nuclei (SON), produce the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. The present immunocytochemical study has analyzed the distribution of Fos in brain regions involved in osmoregulation and compared the extent of Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR) in vasopressin-deficient Brattleboro and normal Long-Evans rats under stimulated and non-stimulated conditions. Rats were osmotically challenged by means of a single intraperitoneal injection of 1.5 M/L NaCl. Since Fos may be induced by the stress of handling of animals, non- injected and isotonic saline-injected rats were used as controls. Faint nuclear Fos immunostaining was found in the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO), subfornical organ (SFO), and SON of non-injected and isotonic saline-injected Brattleboro but not Long-Evans rats. Hypertonic saline injection specifically induced Fos-IR in neurons located in the SFO, OVLT, MnPO, PVN, SON, hypothalamic accessory nuclei (including the nucleus circularis), and arcuate hypothalamic nucleus (Arc) in both Long Evans and Brattleboro rats. No differences in distribution of the induced immunostaining were found between the strains. Stress of handling and (isotonic saline) injection induced Fos-IR in the lateral septal nuclei, central amygdaloid nuclei, medial amygdaloid nucleus, medial preoptic area, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, cingulate- and piriform cortex, the lateral hypothalamic area, ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, and the habenular nucleus. The data are consistent with a role for Fos in the regulation of vasopressin gene expression during acute hyperosmotic stimulation. In addition, this study demonstrated that during chronic osmotic stimulation, as experienced by homozygous Brattleboro rats, Fos-IR is limited but apparently present constantly and that it increased in these animals following acute osmotic challenge. Our observations suggest that c-fos regulatory controls in homozygous Brattleboro rats are different from those in Long-Evans rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • circumventricular organs
  • Fos
  • hypothalamus
  • immunocytochemistry
  • osmoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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