Commissural nucleus of the solitary tract regulates the antihypertensive effects elicited by moxonidine.

PMID 23850502


The rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) contains the presympathetic neurons involved in cardiovascular regulation that has been implicated as one of the most important central sites for the antihypertensive action of moxonidine (an α2-adrenergic and imidazoline agonist). Here, we sought to evaluate the cardiovascular effects produced by moxonidine injected into another important brainstem site, the commissural nucleus of the solitary tract (commNTS). Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), splanchnic sympathetic nerve activity (sSNA) and activity of putative sympathoexcitatory vasomotor neurons of the RVLM were recorded in conscious or urethane-anesthetized, and artificial ventilated male Wistar rats. In conscious or anesthetized rats, moxonidine (2.5 and 5 nmol/50 nl) injected into the commNTS reduced MAP, HR and sSNA. The injection of moxonidine into the commNTS also elicited a reduction of 28% in the activity of sympathoexcitatory vasomotor neurons of the RVLM. To further assess the notion that moxonidine could act in another brainstem area to elicit the antihypertensive effects, a group with electrolytic lesions of the commNTS or sham and with stainless steel guide-cannulas implanted into the 4th V were used. In the sham group, moxonidine (20 nmol/1 μl) injected into 4th V decreased MAP and HR. The hypotension but not the bradycardia produced by moxonidine into the 4th V was reduced in acute (1 day) commNTS-lesioned rats. These data suggest that moxonidine can certainly act in other brainstem regions, such as commNTS to produce its beneficial therapeutic effects, such as hypotension and reduction in sympathetic nerve activity.

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Y0000226 Moxonidine, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard