The object of this study was to investigate the role of the ventrolateral medullary pressor area in mediating the cardiovascular responses to experimentally induced global cerebral ischemia, and to test if excitatory amino acids or acetylcholine are the transmitters released in this brain region during these responses. The cerebral ischemic response was elicited in pentobarbital-anesthetized, artificially ventilated male Wistar rats by bilateral ligation of vertebral arteries followed by temporary clamping of the common carotid arteries. The pressor area was identified by microinjections of L-glutamate. Inhibition of neurons in this area by microinjections of muscimol, a γ-aminobutyric acid receptor agonist, abolished the ischemic response, which demonstrated that this area is important in mediating these responses. Microinjections of a broad-spectrum excitatory amino acid receptor blocker (kynurenate), of specific antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors (injected alone or in combination), and of atropine failed to block the ischemic responses. These results indicate that: 1) the ventrolateral medullary pressor area mediates pressor responses to cerebral ischemia, and 2) excitatory amino acids or acetylcholine in this area do not mediate the cardiovascular responses to cerebral ischemia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- N-methyl-D-aspartic acid
- amino acid