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Brain Res Bull. 1988 Jun;20(6):771-7.

Cardiovascular input to hypothalamic neurosecretory neurons.

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Neurosciences Unit, Montreal General Hospital, Quebec Canada.


In vivo extracellular recordings from rat supraoptic and paraventricular magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) indicate that putative vasopressin-secreting MNCs may be identified by an abrupt and brief cessation in firing consequent to a transient drug-induced rise in arterial pressure sufficient to activate arterial baroreceptors. In the diagonal band of Broca (DBB), a population of neurons projecting towards the supraoptic nucleus are activated during this drug-induced hypertension. Electrical stimulation in DBB selectively depresses supraoptic vasopressin-secreting MNCs. Intracellular recordings in perfused hypothalamic explants confirm a DBB-evoked bicuculline-sensitive and chloride-dependent postsynaptic inhibition, similar to that associated with the application of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in approximately half of supraoptic MNCs. Since bicuculline also selectively blocks baroreceptor-induced inhibition in supraoptic MNCs, it is proposed that the depressant baroreflex input to vasopressin-secreting MNCs involves a population of DBB neurons and GABAergic interneurons located close to MNCs. An excitatory and selective input to vasopressin-secreting MNCs follows chemoreceptor activation, possibly mediated by the A1 noradrenergic cell group in the ventrolateral medulla. Another excitatory input to both vasopressin- and oxytocin-secreting MNCs is triggered by circulating angiotensin II and appears to be relayed centrally through an angiotensinergic projection from the subfornical organ.

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