Disinhibiting neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus delays the onset of exertional fatigue and exhaustion in rats exercising in a warm environment

Dmitry V. Zaretsky, Hannah Kline, Maria V. Zaretskaia, Mary Beth Brown, Pamela J. Durant, Nathan J. Alves, Daniel E. Rusyniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stimulants cause hyperthermia, in part, by increasing heat generation through exercise. Stimulants also delay the onset of fatigue and exhaustion allowing animals to exercise longer. If used in a warm environment, this combination (increased exercise and decreased fatigue) can cause heat stroke. The dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) is involved in mediating locomotion from stimulants. Furthermore, inhibiting the DMH decreases locomotion and prevents hyperthermia in rats given stimulants in a warm environment. Whether the DMH is involved in mediating exercise-induced fatigue and exhaustion is not known. We hypothesized that disinhibiting neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) would delay the onset of fatigue and exhaustion in animals exercising in a warm environment. To test this hypothesis, we used automated video tracking software to measure fatigue and exhaustion. In rats, using wearable mini-pumps, we demonstrated that disinhibiting the DMH, via bicuculline perfusion (5 µM), increased the duration of exercise in a warm environment as compared to control animals (25 ± 3 min vs 15 ± 2 min). Bicuculline-perfused animals also had higher temperatures at exhaustion (41.4 ± 0.2 °C vs 40.0 ± 0.4 °C). Disinhibiting neurons in the DMH also increased the time to fatigue. Our data show that the same region of the hypothalamus that is involved in mediating locomotion to stimulants, is also involved in controlling exhaustion and fatigue. These findings have implications for understanding the cause and treatment of stimulant-induced-hyperthermia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Volume1689
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2018

Keywords

  • Dorsomedial hypothalamus
  • Exercise
  • Exhaustion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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