Excitatory amino acid receptors within NTS mediate arterial chemoreceptor reflexes in rats

W. Zhang, S. W. Mifflin

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Abstract

The nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) is the primary site of termination of arterial baroreceptor and chemoreceptor afferent fibers. Excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors within NTS have been shown to play an important role in the mediation of arterial baroreceptor reflexes; however, the importance of EAA receptors within NTS in the mediation of arterial chemoreceptor reflexes remains controversial. Therefore, in chloralose-urethan-anesthetized, mechanically ventilated, paralyzed rats, 4 nmol of the broad-spectrum EAA receptor antagonist kynurenic acid (Kyn) was injected into the NTS to observe the effects of EAA receptor blockade on the pressor responses evoked by either activation of ipsilateral carotid body chemoreceptors (by close arterial injection of CO2-saturated bicarbonate) or electrical stimulation of ipsilateral carotid sinus nerve (CSN). Under control conditions, activation of carotid body chemoreceptors and CSN stimulation evoked increases in arterial pressure of 27 ± 2 (n = 24 sites) and 28 ± 3% (n = 8), respectively. Kyn microinjection into NTS significantly reduced the pressor responses evoked by activation of carotid body chemoreceptors and electrical stimulation of the CSN for 20 and 25 min, respectively. Attenuation of pressor responses evoked by chemoreceptor activation were maximal at 20 min post-Kyn injection (13 ± 2%), whereas CSN-evoked pressor responses were maximally attenuated at 15 min (6 ± 4%). Microinjection into NTS of 4 nmol of xanthurenic acid, a structural analogue of Kyn with no EAA receptor antagonist properties, had no effect on chemoreceptor reflexes. We conclude that EAA receptors within NTS play an important role in the mediation of arterial chemoreceptor reflexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H770-H773
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume265
Issue number2 34-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993

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Keywords

  • brain stem
  • cardiovascular regulation
  • kynurenic acid

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