Commissural NTS contributes to pressor responses to glutamate injected into the medial NTS of awake rats

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Amer Physiological Soc


In the present study we investigated whether interruption of the chemoreceptor reflex by an electrolytic lesion of the commissural subnucleus of the nucleus tractus solitarii (commNTS) influenced presser and bradycardic responses induced by microinjection of L-glutamate (L-Glu) into the medial NTS (mNTS) of conscious rats. Seven days after sham lesions, seven rats demonstrated significant presser [change in mean arterial pressure (MAP) = +33 +/- 3 mmHg] and bradycardic [change in heart rate (HR) = -74 +/- 8 beats/min (bpm)] responses to chemoreceptor reflex activation by intravenous injection of KCN. Likewise, L-Glu (1 nmol in 100 nl) injected into the mNTS in sham rats induced presser (+29 +/- 2 mmHg) and bradycardic responses (-90 +/- 8 bpm). However, in 11 rats with lesions in commNTS, presser and bradycardic chemoreceptor reflex responses were abolished, and injection of L-Glu into the mNTS decreased MAP (-14 +/- 6 mmHg) and HR (-59 +/- 16 bpm) as is reported in anesthetized control rats. We conclude that presser responses induced by L-Glu microinjected into the baroreceptor reflex region of mNTS in conscious rats depend on the integrity of the commNTS, which plays an important role in central chemoreceptor reflex pathways.



arterial pressure, baroreceptor, chemoreceptor, excitatory amino acids, KCN, medulla, nucleus tractus solitarii

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American Journal of Physiology-regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Bethesda: Amer Physiological Soc, v. 270, n. 6, p. R1220-R1225, 1996.