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Vagal modulation of responses elicited by stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve in neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata in the rat

Zagon, A; Rocha, I; Ishizuka, K; Spyer, KM; (1999) Vagal modulation of responses elicited by stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve in neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata in the rat. NEUROSCIENCE , 92 (3) 889 - 899.

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Abstract

Stimulation of cervical vagal afferents inhibits central sympathetic outflows in parr by inhibiting the ongoing activity of putative baroreceptive neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata. The aim of the present study was to examine the electrophysiological characteristics of vagal responses and their interactions with responses elicited by stimulation of the aortic nerve in neurons there. The study focused on the role of the long-lasting, late-onset vagal inhibition, which is likely to play an important role in the tonic inhibitory effects of vagal afferent stimulation. In vivo intracellular recordings were obtained from 33 neurons that received convergent inputs from aortic and vagal afferents. Sixty-four percent of these neurons exhibited a late inhibition following electrical stimulation of myelinated vagal afferents (mean onset latency of 100 +/- 5 ms). The average duration of late inhibition (294 +/- 19 ms) exceeded the duration of the cardiac cycle. As a consequence of this, sustained vagal stimulation diminished the effect of rhythmic baroreceptor inputs in neurons that exhibited late vagal inhibition. Simultaneous activation of aortic and vagal afferents significantly increased the magnitude of late inhibition, even in those neurons where stimulation of the aortic nerve alone did not elicit a response (n = 15). This suggested that the convergence between vagal and aortic afferent inputs occurred in inhibitory interneurons antecedent to the recorded rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata neurons. Focal stimulation of the caudal part of the nucleus of the solitary tract also elicited a late-onset inhibition in 73% of the neurons that responded to stimulation of the aortic nerve. This inhibition appeared to be similar to the late vagal inhibition, except for its shorter average onset latency (64 +/- 7 ms). Based on this observation, it is proposed that inhibitory interneurons that mediate late inhibition to rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata neurons may lie within the caudal part of the nucleus of the solitary tract.The present study established that activation of myelinated vagal afferents exerts a complex modulation over the ongoing and evoked activity of neurons that respond to stimulation of the aortic nerve. The complex interaction that occurs between aortic and vagal inputs in neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla may be implicated in long-term modulation of sympathetic outflows in response to changes in the activation of visceral receptors supplied by vagus afferents. The modulation elicited by late vagal inhibition may help to adjust cardiovascular outflows according to requirements set by the thoraco-abdominal visceral environment. (C) 1999 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

Type:Article
Title:Vagal modulation of responses elicited by stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve in neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata in the rat
Keywords:barosensitive neurons, late-onset hyperpolarization, presynaptic facilitation, rat, vagus, ventrolateral medulla oblongata, NUCLEUS-TRACTUS-SOLITARIUS, BAROSENSITIVE NEURONS, CONSCIOUS RABBITS, BRAIN-STEM, BARORECEPTOR, REFLEX, ARTERIAL, AFFERENTS, RECEPTORS, PATHWAY
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of)

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