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Am J Physiol. 1989 Aug;257(2 Pt 2):H540-52.

Cardiovascular effects produced by L-glutamate stimulation of the lateral hypothalamic area.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


L-Glutamate microinjections into the tuberal region of the lateral hypothalamic area (LHAt) caused a fall in blood pressure and heart rate in pentobarbital-anesthetized rats. The bradycardia was mediated by both beta-adrenergic and muscarinic mechanisms as demonstrated with pharmacological blockade. The hypotension was due to a decrease in cardiac output, not a decrease in total peripheral resistance. In addition, there was a reduction in coronary blood flow. If heart rate was held constant by pharmacological blockade or by electrical cardiac pacing, L-glutamate stimulation of the LHAt still caused a fall in blood pressure. When the electrically paced model was used, this hypotension was due to a fall in cardiac output. In contrast, with the pharmacological blockade of the heart, the hypotension was due to a decrease in the total peripheral resistance. The cardiac output reduction in the paced condition was not mediated solely by either beta-sympathetic or parasympathetic mechanisms as determined by pharmacological blockade. With heart rate held constant by either drugs or pacing, LHAt stimulation did not alter regional blood flow or resistance in any vascular bed, including the coronary circulation. We conclude that L-glutamate stimulation of the LHAt lowers the cardiac output and heart rate by both parasympathetic and beta-adrenergic mechanisms and elicits hypotension by lowering cardiac output in the naive and electrically paced model.

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