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Am J Physiol. 1999 Aug;277(2):R403-11. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.277.2.R403.

Stimulation of the paraventricular nucleus modulates firing of neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract.

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Clinical Neurochemistry Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1620, USA.


The present study assessed whether the baroreflex inhibition elicited by electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) involves altered activity in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Unit recordings were made from 107 neurons in the NTS in anesthetized rabbits. Intravenous phenylephrine was used to induce a pressor response and to activate baroreflexes. Of the neurons that responded to pressor responses, two-thirds were excited and one-third was inhibited. Stimulation of the PVN inhibited 70% of the phenylephrine-responsive NTS neurons, with or without concurrent baroreceptor stimulation. When PVN stimulation was delivered concurrently with phenylephrine injection, more NTS neuronal inhibition and less excitation occurred than with phenylephrine alone. Usually PVN stimulation inhibited NTS neurons that were excited by pressor responses; less commonly, PVN stimulation excited NTS neurons that were inhibited by pressor responses. The findings are consistent with the view that PVN activation during the defense reaction inhibits baroreflexes by altering firing of NTS neurons.

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