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Pflugers Arch. 1983 Sep;398(4):324-30.

Difference between actions of high PCO2 and low [HCO-3] on neurons in the rat medullary chemosensitive areas in vitro.

Abstract

To evaluate the contribution of extracellular fluid (ECF) pH in stimulating the ventral medullary chemosensors, effects on neuronal activities of changing ECF PCO2 and/or [HCO-3] were studied in tissue slices taken from the medulla oblongata of the rat. In many cases changes in neuronal discharges produced by a high PCO2-normal [HCO-3] solution differed from those produced by a low [HCO-3] normal PCO2 solution although the ECF pH was reduced to the same degree (from 7.40 to about 7.15). Only 9 of a total of 76 neurons showed an increase in discharge in response to both acid solutions. Neuronal activation due to high PCO2 was augmented when the ECF pH was returned to a normal value (7.40) by simultaneous increase in [HCO-3]. High PCO2-high [HCO-3] solution (pH 7.40) increased the activity of many neurons which were either inhibited or uninfluenced by high PCO2-normal [HCO-3] (pH 7.15). Neuronal activation due to low [HCO-3] was partially suppressed by compensating for the pH reduction with a concomitant decrease in PCO2. The results suggest that CO2 and HCO-3 independently influence the activity of neurons. Possible roles of ECF H+, CO2 and HCO-3 in activating the ventral medullary chemosensitive structures are discussed.

PMID:
6415612
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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