Ipsilateral but not contralateral blockade of excitatory amino acid receptors in the caudal ventrolateral medulla inhibits aortic baroreceptor reflex in rats

Research paper by T. Kubo, M. Kihara, Y. Misu

Indexed on: 01 Jan '91Published on: 01 Jan '91Published in: Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology


The caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM) contains vasodepressor neurons which, when activated, decrease vasomotor tone. To investigate whether excitatory amino acid receptors in the CVLM of the rat are involved in mediation of the aortic baroreceptor reflex, we microinjected amino acid antagonists unilaterally into the CVLM and examined their effects on the depressor response to electrical stimulation of the aortic nerve which contains mainly baroreceptor afferent fibers in rats. Male Wistar rats were anaesthetized with urethane, paralyzed and artificially ventilated. To block reflex vagal effects, methylatropine (1 mg/kg) was given intravenously. Kynurenate (227 ng), an excitatory amino acid antagonist, injected ipsilaterally but not contralaterally into the CVLM markedly inhibited the depressor response to aortic nerve stimulation, while both injections produced a similar small increase in basal blood pressure. Muscimol (1 ng), a GABA receptor agonist, injected ipsilaterally into the CVLM partly inhibited the baroreflex response, while it produced a moderate increase in basal blood pressure. 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV) (10 ng), a N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, and MK-801 (30 ng), a NMDA receptor channel blocker, partly inhibited the baroreflex response. MK-801 (30 ng) injected into the CVLM reduced the depressor response to the NMDA receptor agonist NMDA (0.3 ng) but not to the quisqualate receptor agonist quisqualate (0.1 ng) and the kainate receptor agonist kainate (0.1 ng), while kynurenate (227 ng) inhibited the depressor response to all three excitatory amino acid receptor agonists. These findings provide further evidence for the presence of excitatory amino acid receptors involved in mediating the aortic baroreceptor reflex in the rat CVLM. It appears that neurons other than the vasodepressor neurons in the CVLM, at least in part, play a role in transmitting the aortic baroreceptor reflex. In addition, both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors may be responsible for the mediation of the reflex.