The role of bulbospinal neuropeptide Y (NPY)-containing neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla in the rabbit in mediating the increase in blood pressure that occurs during inhibition of cells in the caudal ventrolateral medulla was investigated in urethane-anaesthetized rabbits. In the present experiments bilateral injections of the GABA agonist, muscimol, into the caudal ventrolateral medulla elicited a slowly-developing rise in arterial pressure that was maximal 15 min after the injection. Accompanying this increase in arterial pressure was an increase in the release of NPY-like immunoreactivity (NPY-LI) into the spinal subarachnoid space. This pattern of response is similar to that seen after direct chemical stimulation of the NPY-containing cells of the rostral ventrolateral medulla. Taken together, these findings suggest that tonically active neurons in the caudal ventrolateral medulla exert their effects by inhibiting sympathoexcitatory NPY-containing neurons whose cell bodies are situated in the rostral ventrolateral medulla.
- Blood pressure
- Bulbospinal pathway
- C adrenaline-containing neuron
- Neuropeptide Y
- Rostral ventrolateral medulla