Oxytocinergic and serotonergic systems involvement in sodium intake regulation: satiety or hypertonicity markers?
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Previous studies demonstrated the inhibitory participation of serotonergic ( 5-HT) and oxytocinergic (OT) neurons on sodium appetite induced by peritoneal dialysis (PD) in rats. The activity of 5-HT neurons increases after PD- induced 2% NaCl intake and decreases after sodium depletion; however, the activity of the OT neurons appears only after PD-induced 2% NaCl intake. To discriminate whether the differential activations of the 5-HT and OT neurons in this model are a consequence of the sodium satiation process or are the result of stimulation caused by the entry to the body of a hypertonic sodium solution during sodium access, we analyzed the number of Fos-5-HT- and Fos-OT-immunoreactive neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus-supraoptic nucleus, respectively, after isotonic vs. hypertonic NaCl intake induced by PD. We also studied the OT plasma levels after PD- induced isotonic or hypertonic NaCl intake. Sodium intake induced by PD significantly increased the number of Fos-5- HT cells, independently of the concentration of NaCl consumed. In contrast, the number of Fos-OT neurons increased after hypertonic NaCl intake, in both depleted and nondepleted animals. The OT plasma levels significantly increased only in the PD- induced 2% NaCl intake group in relation to others, showing a synergic effect of both factors. In summary, 5-HT neurons were activated after body sodium status was reestablished, suggesting that this system is activated under conditions of satiety. In terms of the OT system, both OT neural activity and OT plasma levels were increased by the entry of hypertonic NaCl solution during sodium consumption, suggesting that this system is involved in the processing of hyperosmotic signals.