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Nitrergic neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus encode information about stress duration

India S. Nichols, Mary I. Jones, , Godwin Ananaba, Brittany Bush, Cloe Gray, Allison Brager, J. Christopher Ehlen, Ketema Paul
Published in PLOS

Nitrergic neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) may play a role in physiological stress responses. The caudal lateral wings (CLW) are unique compared to other rostral-caudal DRN sub-regions because they contain distinct nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) populations that are independent of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH). NOS neurons in the CLW are also highly activated during acute restraint stress. However, the effects of acute stress dura-tion on NOS activation in the CLW are unclear. Here NADPH-d, an index of NOS activity, is used to show that sub-regions of the DRN have differential NOS activation in response to 6 hours of restraint stress in rats. We report increased NOS activity through 6 hours of restraint in the caudal lateral wings and ventromedial sub-regions. These data suggest that, NOS neurons may play a dynamic role in the response to stress duration.

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