Plasma Catecholamines Associated with Hypothalamically-Elicited Defense Behavior
Physiology and Behavior
Sympatho-adrenal (SA) activation was determined by measuring levels of norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (E) in bilateral adrenal venous and peripheral venous plasma of 20 anesthetized cats following stimulation of medial hypothalamic sites. Hypothalamic sites were selected that elicited affective defense behavior in the freely moving cat. Fifty-eight percent of these hypothalamic sites elicited a bilateral increase greater than or equal to 10 ng/min in the output of both adrenal catecholamines (CAs); these increases were greater from the gland ipsilateral to the side of stimulation. Other SA responses included both preferential increases or decreases in either NE or E. Under baseline conditions, an average of 67% of the NE in the peripheral venous plasma was contributed by the sympathetic noradrenergic nerves; hypothalamic stimulation at "defense" sites increased the contribution to 75%. The data suggest that hypothalamic regions that elicit defense behaviour may overlap with regions that activate the adrenal medullary and sympathetic nervous systems.
S L. Stoddard, V K. Bergdall, Douglas W. Townsend, and B E. Levin (1986).
Plasma Catecholamines Associated with Hypothalamically-Elicited Defense Behavior. Physiology and Behavior.36 (5), 867-873.