Role of the insular cortex in the modulation of ...

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Title Role of the insular cortex in the modulation of baroreflex sensitivity
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, B. J. Connell
Journal The American Journal of Physiology
Date 1998
Volume 274
Issue 5 Pt 2
Start page R1417
End page 24
Abstract Cervical vagal stimulation for 2 h results in a depressed baroreflex sensitivity produced by an enhanced sympathetic output, as indicated by increased plasma norepinephrine levels. The current study examined the role of the insular cortex in modulating the vagal stimulation-induced changes in baroreflex sensitivity. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with thiobutabarbitol sodium and instrumented for recording blood pressure, heart rate, intravenous drug administration, and vagal afferent nerve stimulation. Stereotaxic microinjections (300 nl) of either 5% lidocaine or 0.9% saline were made bilaterally into the insula. Thirty minutes after 2 h of vagal stimulation, the baroreflex was significantly depressed and plasma norepinephrine levels were significantly elevated in both groups. The baroreflex was also significantly depressed after bilateral lidocaine injections into the insula, independent of vagal stimulation. However, no significant change in plasma norepinephrine was observed, suggesting that an attenuated parasympathetic output contributed to the altered baroreflex. Taken together, the results suggest that the insular cortex modulates the cardiac baroreflex through a modulation of parasympathetic output.

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