Daniels D, Miselis RR, Flanagan-Cato LM (2000) Local immunotoxin treatment prevents transneuronal labeling of the intermediolateral column; but not the ventral horn; of the spinal cord after tracer injection into lumbar epaxial muscle. Neuroscience 2000 Abstracts 77.13. Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.
Summary: Pseudorabies virus (PRV) has been used as a transneuronal tracer to study central neural circuits that control various peripheral targets. Our laboratory has injected PRV into the lumbar epaxial muscles that produce the lordosis posture to label sequentially specific brain regions along the neuraxis. However, concomitant uptake of PRV through sympathetic innervation of nearby vasculature has made the interpretation of higher-order labeling problematic. To avoid this confound, we have designed a procedure for focal sympathetic denervation using dopamine-β-hydroxylase immunotoxin (DHIT). Five days after injecting DHIT (5 μg) into the medial portion of lateral longissimus, the Bartha strain of PRV was injected into the pre-treated area. After survival times of 72 or 96 h, animals were sacrificed and the spinal cords were immunostained for PRV. In preliminary studies, DHIT treatment was not effective in all animals, as determined by PRV labeling in the sympathetic preganglionic neurons that reside in IML. However, at each survival time, in 50% of the animals DHIT virtually eliminated PRV-labeling in cells within IML of the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord, whereas robust labeling of motoneurons in the ventral horn was retained. These preliminary results suggest that this procedure for local sympathectomy may allow for selective transneuronal labeling of somatic motor pathways.
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