Excitatory amino acid receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla mediate hypertension induced by carotid body chemoreceptor stimulation

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1994 Jun;349(6):549-54. doi: 10.1007/BF01258457.


The rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) is involved in the mediation of cardiovascular responses to peripheral chemoreceptor stimulation. To investigate whether excitatory amino acid inputs in the RVLM are related to the responses to chemoreceptor stimulation, we microinjected kynurenate, an amino acid antagonist, unilaterally into the RVLM and examined its effects on the pressor response to stimulation of carotid body chemoreceptors. Male Wistar rats were anesthetized with urethane, paralyzed and artificially ventilated. The carotid chemoreceptors were stimulated with isotonic solutions of inorganic phosphate solution. Stimulation of carotid body chemoreceptors produced increases in blood pressure. Kynurenate injected ipsilaterally but not contralaterally into the RVLM markedly inhibited the pressor response to chemoreceptor stimulation. In rats with spinal transection, stimulation of carotid body chemoreceptors also produced increases in blood pressure. The pressor response in rats with spinal transection was inhibited by intravenous injection of a vasopressin antagonist or by kynurenate injected ipsilaterally into the RVLM. Kynurenate injected into the RVLM inhibited the pressor response to NMDA, AMPA and kainate but not to acetylcholine in intact rats. These findings indicate that excitatory amino acid receptors are involved in mediating the pressor response to carotid body chemoreceptor stimulation in the rat RVLM. It appears that the chemoreceptor stimulation produces an increase in vasopressin release and the enhancement of vasopressin release is also mediated by an increase in excitatory amino acid inputs in the RVLM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Carotid Body / drug effects
  • Carotid Body / physiology*
  • Cordotomy
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hexamethonium / pharmacology
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Kynurenic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Kynurenic Acid / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiology*
  • Microinjections
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Glutamate / physiology*
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / drug effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Vasopressins / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Vasopressins
  • Hexamethonium
  • Kynurenic Acid