PubMed 16632546

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK

Title: Role of glutamate in a visceral sympathoexcitatory reflex in rostral ventrolateral medulla of cats.

Authors: Wei Zhou, Liang-Wu Fu, Stephanie C Tjen-A-Looi, Zhi-ling Guo, John C Longhurst

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol., 2006 Sep , 291, H1309-18

PubMed link:

The rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM) is involved in processing visceral sympathetic reflexes. However, there is little information on specific neurotransmitters in this brain stem region involved in this reflex. The present study investigated the importance of glutamate and glutamatergic receptors in the rVLM during gallbladder stimulation with bradykinin (BK), because glutamate is thought to function as an excitatory neurotransmitter in this region. Stimulation of visceral afferents activated glutamatergic neurons in the rVLM, as noted by double-labeling with c-Fos and the cellular vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGLUT3). Visceral reflex activation significantly increased arterial blood pressure as well as extracellular glutamate concentrations in the rVLM as determined by microdialysis. Barodenervation did not alter the release of glutamate in the rVLM evoked by visceral reflex stimulation. Iontophoresis of glutamate into the rVLM enhanced the activity of sympathetic premotor cardiovascular rVLM neurons. Also, the responses of these neurons to visceral afferent stimulation with BK were attenuated significantly (70%) by blockade of glutamatergic receptors with kynurenic acid. Microinjection of either an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanate (25 mM, 30 nl) or an dl-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA) receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (2 mM, 30 nl) into the rVLM significantly attenuated the visceral sympathoexcitatory reflex responses. These results suggest that glutamate in the rVLM serves as an excitatory neurotransmitter through a baroreflex-independent mechanism and that both NMDA and AMPA receptors mediate the visceral sympathoexcitatory reflex responses.