Inhibition of rostral VLM by barorecptor activation is relayed through caudal VLM

S. K. Agarwal, A. J. Gelsema, F. R. Calaresu

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77 Scopus citations


Experiments were done to test the hypothesis that inhibition of neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) elicited by stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) is relayed through the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM). We recorded activity from 56 spontaneously firing units in the right RVLM of urethan-anesthetized and artificially ventilated rats. Eleven of these units were classified as cardiovascular neurons, because they were silenced by baroreceptor activation (1-3 μg phenylephrine iv) and showed rhythmicity of their spontaneous activity in synchrony with the cardiac cycle. Single pulses (0.1 ms, 30-75 μA) delivered 1/s to depressor sites in the ipsilateral NTS inhibited the activity of all these cardiovascular neurons. Microinjection of the glutamate antagonist kynurenic acid (0.15 M, 50 nl) into the ipsilateral CVLM blocked the inhibitory responses of RVLM units to the administration of phenylephrine and increased the firing frequency of cardiovascular neurons in the RVLM by 43%. Moreover, kynurenic acid administration attenuated the inhibitory response of cardiovascular neurons in the RVLM to NTS stimulation. Finally, stimulation of the NTS that elicited depressor responses under control conditions produced a pressor response after kynurenic acid administration. The remaining 45 RVLM neurons were barosensitive but lacked cardiac cycle-related rhythmicity. These results provide direct evidence for the existence of a tonic inhibitory pathway from NTS to RVLM that is relayed through the CVLM probably by a glutamatergic projection from NTS to CVLM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1271-R1278
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 27-5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • arterial pressure
  • baroreceptor reflex
  • cardiovascular regulation
  • caudal ventrolateral medulla
  • nucleus tractus solitarii
  • rostral ventrolateral medulla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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