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Brain Res. 1998 Jun 15;796(1-2):303-6.

Characterization of baroreceptor-related neurons in the monkey insular cortex.

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Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287-7585, USA.


Insular neurons responsive to baroreceptor challenge have been identified in the rat, but not previously in primates. Characterization of baroreceptor-related neurons was performed in 15 anesthetized monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) using extracellular single-unit recording techniques. 131 units were investigated within the insula and surrounding regions. Based on their responses to phenylephrine hydrochloride (PE) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), three types of units were distinguished: 35/131 (27%) sympathoexcitatory (SE), 12/131 (9%) sympathoinhibitory (SI) and 84 (64%) null units. More baroreceptive units were found within the insula (38/73, 52%) than in surrounding areas (9/58, 16%) (p < 0.001). Lateralization was indicated with more baroreceptive units being encountered within the right insula (28/44, 64%) than the left (10/29, 34%) (p = 0.02). The majority of the responsive units were located within the dysgranular and granular insula in layers II, III and V/VI. These data suggest that cardiovascular representation may occur in the primate insula as has been shown in other species.

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