Cardiorespiratory responses to glutamatergic antagonists in the caudal ventrolateral medulla of rats Article

cited authors

  • Jung, R; Bruce, EN; Katona, PG

fiu authors


  • The role of caudal ventrolateral medullary (CVLM) depressor neurons in influencing arterial pressure and ventilation as well as the baroreflex control of arterial pressure was investigated, and the part played by excitatory N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors in mediating the responses was determined. In urethane-anesthetized, spontaneously breathing rats unilateral microinjections into the caudal depressor area of the broad-band glutamatergic antagonist kynurenic acid (KYN, 5 nmol or 1.58 nmol), or NMDA antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (2-APV, 2.7 nmol), or the non-NMDA antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX, 0.257 nmol) caused a respiratory arrest within 4 min and the animals had to be artificially ventilated. Respiratory frequency increased on injecting KYN and CNQX while it did not change significantly with 2-APV. Apnea resulted from progressive decrease in tidal volume. During the apnea ventilation with 5% CO2 did not revive breathing. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) increased significantly with KYN and 2-APV injections but not with CNQX. The baroreflex decrease of MAP, elicited by left or right aortic depressor nerve stimulation, was significantly reduced or abolished after bilateral microinjections of all 3 antagonists. Ventilation as well as the baroreflex usually recovered after 1-1.5 h. Microinjections of the same doses of antagonists into the facial nucleus, as well as application of KYN (25 nmol) to the ventral medullary surface above the hypoglossal rootlets, had no significant effect. The results support previous findings that the CVLM neurons of the rat inhibit sympathetic neurons providing the vasomotor tone, and that an intact CVLM is obligatory for mediating the baroreflex decrease of arterial pressure. The results also indicate that: (1) the CVLM is essential for sustaining ventilation in the rat; (2) only NMDA receptors are involved in maintaining baseline blood pressure while both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors mediate the baroreceptor depressor reflex; and (3) both NMDA and non-NMDA receptor activation is necessary to sustain ventilation. © 1991.

publication date

  • November 15, 1991

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 286

end page

  • 295


  • 564


  • 2