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Parabrachial neuron types categorically encode thermoregulation variables during heat defense

By Wen Z Yang, Xiaosa Du, Wen Zhang, Cuicui Gao, Hengchang Xie, Yan Xiao, Xiaoning Jia, Jiashu Liu, Jianhui Xu, Xin Fu, Hongqing Tu, Xiaoyu Fu, Xinyan Ni, Miao He, Jiajun Yang, Hong Wang, Haitao Yang, Xiao-hong Xu, Wei L. Shen

Posted 12 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.11.138370

Heat defense is crucial for survival and fitness, and its dysregulation may result in deaths due to poor management. Transmission of thermosensory signals into hypothalamic thermoregulation centers represent a key layer of regulation in heat defense. However, the mechanism by which these signals are transmitted into the hypothalamus remains poorly understood. Here, we reveal that glutamatergic prodynorphin and cholecystokinin neuron populations in the lateral parabrachial (LPB) are progressively recruited to defend elevated body temperature. These two nonoverlapping neuron types form circuitries with downstream preoptic hypothalamic neurons to inhibit BAT thermogenesis and activate tail vasodilation, respectively. Both circuitries are selectively activated by warm temperatures and are required for fever limiting. The prodynorphin circuitry is further required for regulation of energy expenditure and weight homeostasis. Thus, these findings establish that the genetic and functional specificity of heat defense neurons occurs as early as in the LPB and uncover categorical neuron types for encoding two heat defense variables, which may provide targets for treating thermoregulation disorders. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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