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Diphtheria toxin treatment of Pet-1-Cre floxed diphtheria toxin receptor mice disrupts thermoregulation without affecting respiratory chemoreception



Diphtheria toxin treatment of Pet-1-Cre floxed diphtheria toxin receptor mice disrupts thermoregulation without affecting respiratory chemoreception



Neuroscience 279: 65-76



In genetically-modified Lmx1b(f/f/p) mice, selective deletion of LMX1B in Pet-1 expressing cells leads to failure of embryonic development of serotonin (5-HT) neurons. As adults, these mice have a decreased hypercapnic ventilatory response and abnormal thermoregulation. This mouse model has been valuable in defining the normal role of 5-HT neurons, but it is possible that developmental compensation reduces the severity of observed deficits. Here we studied mice genetically modified to express diphtheria toxin receptors (DTR) on Pet-1 expressing neurons (Pet-1-Cre/floxed DTR or Pet1/DTR mice). These mice developed with a normal complement of 5-HT neurons. As adults, systemic treatment with 2-35μg of diphtheria toxin (DT) reduced the number of tryptophan hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TpOH-ir) neurons in the raphe nuclei and ventrolateral medulla by 80%. There were no effects of DT on minute ventilation (VE) or the ventilatory response to hypercapnia or hypoxia. At an ambient temperature (TA) of 24°C, all Pet1/DTR mice dropped their body temperature (TB) below 35°C after DT treatment, but the latency was shorter in males than females (3.0±0.37 vs. 4.57±0.29days, respectively; p<0.001). One week after DT treatment, mice were challenged by dropping TA from 37°C to 24°C, which caused TB to decrease more in males than in females (29.7±0.31°C vs. 33.0±1.3°C, p<0.01). We conclude that the 20% of 5-HT neurons that remain after DT treatment in Pet1/DTR mice are sufficient to maintain normal baseline breathing and a normal response to CO2, while those affected include some essential for thermoregulation, in males more than females. In comparison to models with deficient embryonic development of 5-HT neurons, acute deletion of 5-HT neurons in adults leads to a greater defect in thermoregulation, suggesting that significant developmental compensation can occur.

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Accession: 052629717

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PMID: 25171790

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.08.018


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