Depressor neurons in rabbit caudal medulla act via GABA receptors in rostral medulla

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    Experiments were conducted in urethan-anesthetized rabbits to determine whether vasomotor effects elicited by activation or inhibition of the caudal ventrolateral medulla depend on γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic, glycinergic, or α-adrenergic receptors in the region of the rostral ventrolateral medulla, which contains the bulbospinal sympathoexcitatory neurons. Bilateral injection of bicuculline methiodide into the rostral medulla caused a dose-related reduction in the fall in arterial pressure and in the inhibition of renal sympathetic nerve activity normally elicited by chemical stimulation of neurons in the caudal medulla using local injection of L-glutamate. When both bicuculline and muscimol were injected into the rostral medulla at the same time, resting arterial pressure was maintained at base-line levels, and the sympathoexcitatory neurons remained normally excitable by local injection of L-glutamate into the rostral medulla. In the presence of this mixed antagonist-agonist GABAergic blockade, both decreases and increases in arterial pressure elicited by excitation or inhibition of neuronal function in the caudal medulla were abolished. Similar effects were not observed after blockade of glycinergic or α-adrenergic receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla. Results suggest that the depressor neurons in the caudal ventrolateral medulla alter peripheral sympathetic vasomotor activity almost entirely by an action on GABAergic receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23/4
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1988


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