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Brain Res Bull. 2000 Sep 1;53(1):87-93.

Cortical control of somato-cardiovascular integration: neuroanatomical studies.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neurosciences du Comportement, Universit√© de Lille I, Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France. sequeira@univ-lille1.fr


This paper will discuss experiments dedicated to the exploration of pathways linking the sensorimotor cortex (SMC) and the main bulbar nuclei involved in cardiovascular control: the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), the dorsal nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM). Results obtained through neurofunctional and neuroanatomical methods are presented in order to bring new answers to relevant points concerning somato-cardiovascular integration: firstly to show the ability of the SMC to influence neurons in bulbar cardiovascular nuclei, and secondly to identify pathways that transmit such influences. The neurofunctional approach, based on the identification of Fos-like immunoreactive neurons, indicated that the SMC has functional connections with cardiovascular bulbar nuclei. The neuroanatomical approach, which employed retrograde and anterograde axonal tracing methods, provided evidence of direct projections from the SMC to NTS/DMV and RVLM. Furthermore, experiments showed clearly that corticospinal neurons sent collaterals to bulbar cardiovascular nuclei, especially to the RVLM. Direct cortical projections to the NTS/DMV and the RVLM provide the anatomical basis for cortical influences on the baroreceptor reflex and sympathetic vasomotor mechanisms for blood pressure control, and support the hypothesis of cortical commands coupling somatic and cardiovascular outputs for action.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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