The present experiments were performed to clarify the brain sites whose activity is affected exclusively by cortical spreading depression (CoSD). For this purpose, Fos protein, a product of an immediate early gene, was used as a marker of neuronal activation. Because Fos can be induced by many manipulations such as stress stimuli, we verified CoSD-induced Fos expression by excluding the influence of other factors such as anaesthesia and surgical manipulation. CoSD was induced by applying a KCl solution directly to the dura mater over the cerebral cortex, and Fos expression in the brain was assessed by immunohistochemistry using antibodies against Fos protein. We found that during CoSD, Fos expression was increased specifically in the magnocellular region of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), as well as in the ipsilateral cortex, whereas reduced Fos expression was observed in both the parvocellular region of the PVN and the whole cortex contralateral to the CoSD site. Consistent with the reduced Fos expression, approximately 40% of neurons in the contralateral cortex revealed a suppression of electrical activity during CoSD. These results suggest that in addition to the ipsilateral cortex, CoSD affects Fos expression exclusively in the PVN and the contralateral cortex.
- Contralateral cortex
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