Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1990 Apr;253(1):408-18.

Role of imidazole receptors in the vasodepressor response to clonidine analogs in the rostral ventrolateral medulla.

Author information

  • 1Division of Neurobiology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York.


The rostral ventrolateral medulla is the primary site of action for clonidine, a centrally acting antihypertensive. In the rostral ventrolateral medulla, clonidine binds not only to alpha-2 adrenergic receptors but also to specific imidazole sites. In order to determine whether a putative imidazole receptor mediates the hypotensive action of clonidine, a series of compounds was tested 1) in vitro for binding affinity at imidazole and alpha-2 sites and 2) in vivo for ability to lower arterial pressure and heart rate when microinjected directly into the rostral ventrolateral medulla. Hypotensive potency was correlated with affinity at imidazole sites (r = 0.84), but not with alpha-2 affinity (r = -0.05). The bradycardia elicited by this series of compounds also correlated with affinity at imidazole receptors (r = 0.89), but not with alpha-2 affinity (r = 0.10). Furthermore, the imidazole idazoxan selectively reversed the fall in arterial pressure elicited by clonidine, whereas SKF-86466, an alpha-2 antagonist which is not an imidazole, failed to attenuate clonidine's action. An imidazole receptor in the rostral ventrolateral medulla appears to mediate the central hypotensive actions of clonidine and related centrally acting imidazoles and may participate in the regulation of arterial pressure and heart rate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk