Previous studies have shown that the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which can be affected by emotions, is important in the occurrence or progression of glaucoma. The autonomic innervation distributed in the anterior chamber (AC) structures might play an efferent role in the neural regulation of intraocular pressure (IOP). This study aimed to investigate the anatomic neural connection from the emotional brain to autonomic innervation in the AC.
A retrograde trans-multisynaptic pseudorabies virus encoded with an enhanced green fluorescent protein (PRV531) and non-trans-synaptic tracer FAST Dil were injected into the right eye of mice, respectively. Fluorescent localization in the emotional brain and preganglionic nuclei was studied. Five and a half days after PRV531 injection into the right AC, fluorescent signals were observed in several emotional brain regions, including the amygdala, agranular insular cortex, lateral septal nuclei, periaqueductal gray, and hypothalamus. Autonomic preganglionic nuclei, including Edinger-Westphal nucleus, superior salivatory nucleus, and intermediolateral nucleus, were labeled using PRV531.
The sensory trigeminal nuclei were not labeled using PRV531. The fluorescence signals in the nuclei mentioned above showed bilateral distribution, primarily on the ipsilateral side. Seven days after injecting FAST Dil into the AC, we observed no FAST Dil-labeled neurons in the central nervous system.
Our results indicate a neural connection from the emotional brain to autonomic innervation in the AC, which provides anatomical support for the emotional influence of IOP via the ANS.

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