M2 muscarinic receptors mediate pressor responses to cholinergic agonists in the ventrolateral medullary pressor area

Brain Res. 1988 May 24;449(1-2):141-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(88)91032-3.


Microinjections of cholinergic agonists into the ventrolateral medullary pressor area (VLPA) evoke increase in blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). Recently two major subtypes of muscarinic receptors (M1 and M2) have been identified. This investigation was designed to study the role of these muscarinic receptor subtypes in pressor responses of cholinergic agonists in the VLPA. Male Wistar rats were anesthetized with pentobarbital or decerebrated at mid-collicular level. The rats were artificially ventilated and BP and HR were recorded. Ventral medulla was exposed and the VLPA identified bilaterally by microinjections of L-glutamate. Microinjections of cis-methyldioxolane (CD, a specific agonist of M2 receptors) in the doses of 0.004-4 nanomol (nmol)/site into the VLPA evoked an increase in BP (13-56 mm Hg) and HR (7-24 bpm) which lasted for 10-50 min. Intravenous injections of the same doses of this agent failed to evoke a response. AFDX-116 (a specific M2 muscarinic receptor antagonist) microinjected into the VLPA (0.2-1.6 nmol-/site) evoked depressor responses (6-20 mm Hg). Microinjections of this agent into the VLPA prevented the pressor responses to subsequent microinjections of CD at the same sites, indicating that AFDX-116 blocked M2 receptors. AFDX-116 rendered neurons in the VLPA unresponsive to L-glutamate but this effect lasted for 30-40 min while the hypotensive and M2 receptor blocking effect lasted for 60-150 min. McN-A343 (a specific agonist for M1 receptors) or pirenzepine (PZ, a specific antagonist of M1 receptors) injected into the VLPA (0.4-4 nmol/site) failed to evoke any response.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Decerebrate State
  • Dioxolanes / pharmacology*
  • Dioxoles / pharmacology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medulla Oblongata / drug effects
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiology*
  • Parasympathomimetics / pharmacology*
  • Pirenzepine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pirenzepine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / drug effects
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / physiology*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques


  • Dioxolanes
  • Dioxoles
  • Parasympathomimetics
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Pirenzepine
  • 2-methyldioxolane
  • otenzepad