Hypothermia: role of alpha 1- and alpha 2-noradrenergic receptors in the hypothalamus of the cat.
The purpose of this study was to characterize the alpha 1- and alpha 2-noradrenergic receptor sub-types which could mediate the hypothermic response produced by norepinephrine (NE) and other alpha-noradrenergic agonists applied to the thermosensitive zone of the hypothalamus. An array of four guide tubes was implanted stereotaxically so that their tips rested just above the anterior hypothalamic, preoptic area (AH/POA) of the cat. Following post-operative recovery, a micro-injection of an agonist or antagonist of NE receptors or control CSF vehicle was given in a volume of 1.0-2.0 microliter in the AH/POA in each of the unrestrained cats. The alpha 1-noradrenergic receptor agonist, phenylephrine, but not methoxamine, applied to the AH/POA produced a dose-dependent hypothermia of up to 2.0 degrees C. When applied similarly, the alpha 2-noradrenergic agonist clonidine, as well as norepinephrine, which acts on both alpha 1- and alpha 2-noradrenergic receptors, also induced a decline in the cat's core temperature of up to 1.5 degrees C. The hypothermic response of clonidine was inhibited by pre-treatment of the AH/POA with a micro-injection of the selective alpha 2-noradrenergic blocking agent, yohimbine. However, yohimbine given similarly in the cat's AH/POA potentiated significantly both the phenylephrine and norepinephrine-induced hypothermia. The combined alpha 1-, alpha 2-noradrenergic receptor antagonist, phentolamine, also injected into AH/POA inhibited the thermolytic response evoked by both phenylephrine and norepinephrine, whereas it was virtually ineffective against the clonidine-induced hypothermia. These results, therefore, strongly suggest that both alpha 1- and alpha 2-noradrenergic receptors subserve the coordinated thermoregulatory mechanisms in AH/POA which are required for the functional dissipation of body heat and the consequent evocation of hypothermia.
Myers, RD; Beleslin, DB; Rezvani, AH
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