Sex differences inc-FosandEGR-1/Zif268 activity maps of rat sacral spinal cord following cystometry-induced micturition
AuthorWiedmann, NM; Wong, AW; Keast, JR; Osborne, PB
Source TitleJournal of Comparative Neurology
AffiliationAnatomy and Neuroscience
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWiedmann, N. M., Wong, A. W., Keast, J. R. & Osborne, P. B. (2020). Sex differences inc-FosandEGR-1/Zif268 activity maps of rat sacral spinal cord following cystometry-induced micturition. JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE NEUROLOGY, 529 (2), pp.311-326. https://doi.org/10.1002/cne.24949.
Access StatusOpen Access
Storage and voiding of urine from the lower urinary tract (LUT) must be timed precisely to occur in appropriate behavioral contexts. A major part of the CNS circuit that coordinates this activity is found in the lumbosacral spinal cord. Immediate early gene (IEG) activity mapping has been widely used to investigate the lumbosacral LUT-related circuit, but most reports focus on the effects of noxious stimulation in anesthetized female rats. Here we use c-Fos and EGR-1 (Zif268) activity mapping of lumbosacral spinal cord to investigate cystometry-induced micturition in awake female and male rats. In females, after cystometry c-Fos neurons in spinal cord segments L5-S2 were concentrated in the sacral parasympathetic nucleus (SPN), dorsal horn laminae II-IV, and dorsal commissural nucleus (SDCom). Comparisons of cystometry and control groups in male and female revealed sex differences. Activity mapping suggested dorsal horn laminae II-IV was activated in females but showed net inhibition in males. However, inhibition in male rats was not detected by EGR-1 activity mapping, which showed low coexpression with c-Fos. A class of catecholamine neurons in SPN and SDCom neurons were also more strongly activated by micturition in females. In both sexes, most c-Fos neurons were identified as excitatory by their absence of Pax2 expression. In conclusion, IEG mapping in awake male and female rats has extended our understanding of the functional molecular anatomy of the LUT-related circuit in spinal cord. Using this approach, we have identified sex differences that were not detected by previous studies in anesthetized rats.
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