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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Oct 16;350(1):46-50.

Cardiovascular function and circadian patterns in rats after area postrema lesions or prolonged food restriction.

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Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1270, USA.


The role of the area postrema (AP) in baseline cardiovascular function was evaluated by radio telemetry in rats with lesions of AP (APX), along with the effect of APX on circadian patterns of cardiovascular function and ingestive behavior. Despite lesion-induced hypophagia and body weight loss, APX did not affect circadian patterns of mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), or ingestion but did cause a substantial decrease (-60 bpm) in resting HR. The bradycardia was not attributable to weight loss, as resting HR in weight-matched controls, though decreased from baseline, was significantly greater than that in rats with APX. In weight-matched controls, HR increased slightly when weight returned to baseline; however, the bradycardia persisted in rats with APX. These results suggest that AP contributes to resting HR, independent of weight loss or changes in circadian patterns of HR or MAP.

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