Indexed on: 01 Mar '91Published on: 01 Mar '91Published in: Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Excitatory amino acid receptors and l-glutamate in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) may be involved in the regulation of baroreceptor reflexes. To evaluate this hypothesis, we microinjected amino acid antagonists unilaterally into the rat NTS, and examined their effects on cardiovascular responses to electrical stimulation of the aortic nerve and on depressor responses to excitatory amino acid agonists microinjected into the NTS. Male Wistar rats were anesthesized with urethane, paralyzed, and artifically ventilated. Kynurenate (227 ng), an excitatory amino acid antagonist, injected ipsilaterally but not contralaterally into the NTS, markedly inhibited the depressor response to aortic nerve stimulation. l-Glutamate diethylester (GDEE, 3 μg), another excitatory amino acid antagonist, injected ipsilaterally into the NTS, also markedly inhibited both reflex depressor and bradycardic responses. MK-801 (30 ng), an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor channel blocker, slightly inhibited the baroreflex responses, while Joro spider toxin JSTX-3 (17 ng), a glutamate receptor antagonist, did not affect them. Kynurenate (227 ng) and GDEE (3 μg) markedly inhibited the depressor response to the NMDA receptor agonist NMDA (0.3 ng), the quisqualate receptor agonist quisqualate (0.1 ng), the kainate receptor agonist kainate (0.1 ng), and l-glutamate (10 ng), microinjected into the NTS, while MK-801 (30 ng) reduced only the depressor response to NMDA (0.3 ng), and JSTX-3 (17 ng) reduced only the depressor response to kainate (0.1 ng). These findings provide evidence for the presence of excitatory amino acid receptors involved in mediating the aortic baroreceptor reflex in the rat NTS. In addition, these observations are consistent with the hypothesis that l-glutamate or a related excitatory amino acid may be the neurotransmitter of baroreceptor information in the NTS. It appears that both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors in the rat NTS are responsible for the mediation of baroreflexes.