Cardiovascular function is altered by picomole injections of glutamate into rat medulla

D. O. Nelson, H. L. Cohen, J. L. Feldman, D. R. McCrimmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Local neural circuitry in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) involved in cardiovascular control was studied by injecting nanoliter volumes of excitatory amino acids into the structure. Experiments were performed on urethane-anesthetized, artificially ventilated rats. Multibarrel micropipettes were used for pressure ejection of drugs or a dye for marking ejection sites. Ejected volumes, ranging from 200 pl to 25 nl, were directly monitored for every injection. Injections of as little as 200 fmol of L-glutamate in 200 pl into the medial and lateral NTS region rostral to the obex elicited marked, site-specific decreases in arterial pressure and heart rate. The majority of these responses were eliminated by blockade of parasympathetic and sympathetic neural outflow. At sites caudal to obex, in the commissural region of the NTS, L-glutamate injections produced marked elevations in heart rate and arterial pressure which were sympathetically mediated. Responses to L-glutamate were attenuated by concurrent injection of glutamic acid diethyl ester and DL-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate, or lidocaine. These results indicate a heterogeneity in the spatial organization of brain-stem circuitry underlying cardiovascular control that has not been previously described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1684-1693
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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