Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Bartness

Second Advisor

Dr. Aaron Roseberry

Third Advisor

Dr. Bingzhong Xue


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a critical organ for non-shivering thermogenesis, which is under control of both sympathetic and sensory neural innervation. We utilized both a retrograde sympathetic nerve tract tracer pseudorabies virus and an anterograde sensory tract tracer the H129 strain of herpes simplex virus-1 to locate individual neurons across the neuroaxis that are part of the SNS outflow from brain to interscapular BAT and are part of the sensory input to the brain. We found specific neuronal phenotype of the double-infected neurons distributed from the hindbrain to the forebrain with highest densities in several discrete brain regions: the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH), lateral hypothalamus (LHA), parabrachial nucleus (PB) and raphe pallidus (RPa). The neuroanatomical reality of the SNS-sensory feedback loops suggests coordinated control of BAT thermogenesis at several sites and indicates plasticity of SNS-sensory crosstalk.