Microinjection of muscimol into caudal periaqueductal gray lowers body temperature and attenuates increases in temperature and activity evoked from the dorsomedial hypothalamus

Rodrigo C.A. de Menezes, Dmitry V. Zaretsky, Marco A.P. Fontes, Joseph A. DiMicco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Microinjection of the neuronal inhibitor muscimol into the midbrain lateral/dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (l/dlPAG) suppresses increases in heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) evoked by microinjection of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline methiodide (BMI) into the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) in rats. Injection of BMI into the DMH also increases body temperature (Tco) and motor activity. Here, our goal was to extend previous findings by examining the effect of microinjection of muscimol into the PAG on these thermogenic and behavioral responses in conscious freely moving rats. Microinjection of muscimol (300 pmol and 1 nmol) alone into the l/dlPAG reduced baseline Tco without affecting activity, HR, or MAP. Similar injection of a dose that failed to alter baseline Tco (100 pmol) suppressed the increases in Tco evoked from the DMH and significantly attenuated DMH-induced increases in locomotor activity. Whereas microinjection of 1 nmol muscimol into the ldlPAG abolished the increases in Tco evoked from the DMH and in fact lowered body temperature to a degree similar to that seen after this dose of muscimol alone, 1 nmol muscimol at adjacent sites outside the targeted region of the PAG had no significant effect on DMH-induced increases in Tco or any other parameter. These results indicate a role for neuronal activity in the l/dlPAG in (1) the temperature and behavioral responses to disinhibition of neurons in the DMH, and (2) the maintenance of basal body temperature in conscious freely moving rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 30 2006



  • Bicuculline
  • Body temperature
  • GABA
  • Locomotor activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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