Brain research

Caudal ventrolateral medulla mediates baroreceptor afferent inputs to subfornical organ angiotensin II responsive neurons.

PMID 23142269


Although anatomical data indicates that the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM) projects directly to the subfornical organ (SFO), little is known about the afferent information relayed through the CVLM to SFO. Experiments were done in the anesthetized rat to investigate whether CVLM neurons mediate baroreceptor afferent information to SFO and whether this afferent information alters the response of SFO neurons to systemic injections of angiotensin II (ANG II). Extracellular single unit recordings were made from 78 spontaneously discharging single units in SFO. Of these, 32 (41%) responded to microinjection of L-glutamate (L-Glu; 0.25M; 10nl) into CVLM (27/32 were inhibited and 5/32 were excited). All 32 units also were excited by systemic injections of ANG II (250ng/0.1ml, ia). However, only those units inhibited by CVLM (n=27) were found to be inhibited by the reflex activation of baroreceptors following systemic injections of phenylephrine (2μg/kg, iv). Activation of CVLM or arterial baroreceptors in conjunction with ANG II resulted in an attenuation of the SFO unit's response to ANG II. Finally, microinjections (100nl) of the synaptic blocker CoCl(2) or the non-specific glutamate receptor antagonist kynurenic acid into CVLM attenuated (10/13 units tested) the SFO neuron's response to activation of baroreceptors, but not the unit's response evoked by systemic ANG II. Taken together, these data suggest that baroreceptor afferent information relayed through CVLM functions to modulate of the activity of neurons within SFO to extracellular signals of body fluid balance.