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Dopaminergic input from the posterior hypothalamus to the raphe pallidus area inhibits brown adipose tissue thermogenesis

Conceição Furber, EPS;Mota, CMD;Veytsman, E;Morrison, SF;Madden, CJ;

Systemic administration of dopamine (DA) receptor agonists leads to falls in body temperature. However, the central thermoregulatory pathways modulated by DA have not been fully elucidated. Here we identified a source and site of action contributing to DA’s hypothermic action by inhibition of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Nanoinjection of the type 2 and type 3 DA receptor (D2R/D3R) agonist, 7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propyl-2-aminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT), in the rostral raphe pallidus area (rRPa) inhibits the sympathetic activation of BAT evoked by cold exposure or by direct activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the rRPa. Blockade of D2R/D3R in the rRPa with nanoinjection of SB-277011A increases BAT thermogenesis, consistent with a tonic release of DA in the rRPa contributing to inhibition of BAT thermogenesis. Accordingly, D2Rs are expressed in cold-activated and serotonergic neurons in the rRPa, and anatomical tracing studies revealed that neurons in the posterior hypothalamus (PH) are a source of dopaminergic input to the rRPa. Disinhibitory activation of PH neurons with nanoinjection of gabazine inhibits BAT thermogenesis, which is reduced by pretreatment of the rRPa with SB-277011A. In conclusion, the rRPa, the site of sympathetic premotor neurons for BAT, receives a tonically active, dopaminergic input from the PH that suppresses BAT thermogenesis.