Splanchnic and vagal denervation attenuate central Fos but not AVP responses to intragastric salt in rats

Scott H. Carlson, John W Osborn Jr

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27 Scopus citations


We have recently reported that an acute intragastric hypertonic saline load increases plasma arginine vasopressin (P(AVP)) and Fos immunoreactivity in several central nuclei, including the supraoptic nucleus (SON), paraventricular nucleus (PVN), nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), area postrema (AP), and lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN). We hypothesized that these responses are mediated by stimulation of peripheral osmoreceptors with splanchnic and/or vagal afferent projections. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotemy and bilateral splanchnic denervation on the P(AVP) and Fos immunoreactivity responses to intragastric hypertonic saline infusion in awake rats. Compared with responses in sham rats, Fos immunoreactivity responses were significantly reduced in vagotomized rats in the AP, SON, and PVN, whereas normal Fos levels were observed in the LPBN. However, vagotomized rats exhibited a normal increase in P(AVP). Splanchnic-denervated rats also exhibited similar changes in P(AVP) in response to intragastric hypertonic saline compared with sham-denervated rats, and no differences were observed in Fos immunoreactivity in the LPBN, SON, and PVN compared with sham rats. However, splanchnic-denervated rats were observed to have significantly lower Fos staining in the NTS and AP compared with sham rats. The inability of splanchnic or vagal denervation alone to block the P(AVP) response to intragastric hypertonic saline suggests that either peripheral osmoreceptors project via both splanchnic and vagal afferents to mediate AVP release or that the observed response of P(AVP) is due to the activation of central osmoreceptors in the absence of measurable changes in plasma osmolality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1243-R1252
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 43-5
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Arginine vasopressin
  • C-Fos
  • Hepatic nerves
  • Vagal afferents


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