Importance of glycinergic and glutamatergic synapses within the rostral ventrolateral medulla for blood pressure regulation in conscious rats

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Araujo, G. C.
Lopes, Oswaldo Ubriaco [UNIFESP]
Campos, Ruy Ribeiro [UNIFESP]
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In this study we used a method that permits bilateral or unilateral microinjections of drugs into the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) of conscious, freely moving rats. There is only limited information about how sympathetic vasomotor tone is maintained by premotor RVLM neurons in conscious animals, It has long been known that glycine microinjection into the RVLM region leads to a decrease in blood pressure (BP) in anesthetized animals. In the present study we show that both unilateral and bilateral microinjection of glycine at the same dose used for anesthetized rats (50 nmol, 50 nL) into the RVLM increases BP-in conscious animals. A similar response was also observed when the excitatory amino acid L-glutamate was microinjected into the RVLM. The microinjection of kynurenic acid into the RVLM did not change the basal level of BP but blocked the increase in BP after glycine or glutamate microinjection. A decrease in BP was only observed when low doses of glycine were used (1 to 10 nmol). We conclude that, in conscious animals, the hypertension occurring in response to high doses of glycine into the RVLM is dependent on glutamatergic synapses within the RVLM. A decrease in BP observed when low doses of glycine were used shows that in conscious animals, the RVLM, in association with other premotor neurons, is probably responsible for the maintenance of sympathetic vasomotor tone, because glycine is less effective In decreasing BP under these circumstances than in anesthetized animals.
Hypertension. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, v. 34, n. 4, p. 752-755, 1999.