Right atrial stretch alters fore- and hind-brain expression of c-fos and inhibits the rapid onset of salt appetite
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The inflation of an intravascular balloon positioned at the superior vena cava and right atrial junction (SVC-RAJ) reduces sodium or water intake induced by various experimental procedures (e.g. sodium depletion; hypovolaemia). In the present study we investigated if the stretch induced by a balloon at this site inhibits a rapid onset salt appetite, and if this procedure modifies the pattern of immunohistochemical labelling for Fos protein (Fos-ir) in the brain. Male Sprague-Dawley rats with SVC-RAJ balloons received a combined treatment of furosemide (Furo; 10 mg (kg bw)(-1)) plus a low dose of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril (Cap; 5 mg (kg bw)(-1)). Balloon inflation greatly decreased the intake of 0.3 M NaCl for as long as the balloon was inflated. Balloon inflation over a 3 h period following Furo-Cap treatment decreased Fos-ir in the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis and the subfornical organ and increased Fos-ir in the lateral parabrachial nucleus and caudal ventrolateral medulla. The effect of balloon inflation was specific for sodium intake because it did not affect the drinking of diluted sweetened condensed milk. Balloon inflation and deflation also did not acutely change mean arterial pressure. These results suggest that activity in forebrain circumventricular organs and in hindbrain putative body fluid/cardiovascular regulatory regions is affected by loading low pressure mechanoreceptors at the SVC-RAJ, a manipulation that also attenuates salt appetite.