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Circ Res. 1993 Mar;72(3):511-6.

Inhibition of nitric oxide formation in the nucleus tractus solitarius increases renal sympathetic nerve activity in rabbits.

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Research Institute of Angiocardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


It has been shown that nitric oxide (NO) is synthesized in the central nervous system as well as in vascular endothelial cells. However, the physiological role of NO in cardiovascular regulation by the central nervous system remains unclear. This objective of this study was to examine the possibility that NO plays a role in neural transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and thus contributes to control of sympathetic nerve activity in rabbits. We examined the effects of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), an inhibitor of the formation of NO from L-arginine, microinjected into the NTS on arterial pressure (AP), heart rate (HR), and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA). L-NMMA increased AP and RSNA in rabbits with intact as well as denervated sinoaortic baroreceptors and vagi. L-NMMA increased HR only in rabbits with sinoaortic denervation and vagotomy. Pretreatment with L-arginine microinjected into the NTS, which did not alter baseline AP, HR, and RSNA, prevented the increases in AP and RSNA evoked with subsequent L-NMMA. Pretreatment with D-arginine did not alter the effects of subsequent L-NMMA injections into the NTS. The gain of arterial baroreflex control of RSNA assessed by the slope of the regression line relating changes in AP and those in RSNA caused by intravenous phenylephrine or nitroglycerin did not differ before and after microinjections of L-NMMA. L-NMMA microinjected into the area postrema did not alter AP, HR, or RSNA. These results suggest that in rabbits NO is involved in the mechanism in the NTS that mediates tonic inhibition of RSNA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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