Modulation of the cardiac baroreflex following ...

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Title Modulation of the cardiac baroreflex following reversible blockade of the parabrachial nucleus in the rat
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, B. J. Connell
Journal Brain Research
Date 1997
Volume 767
Issue 2
Start page 201
End page 207
Abstract The parabrachial nucleus (PBN) has a prominent anatomical connection with the nucleus of the solitary tract as well as other central baroreflex centres which suggests a role for the PBN in the regulation of this cardiovascular reflex. This study examined the effects of a reversible, bilateral blockade of the PBN on the cardiac baroreflex. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with sodium butabarbitol and instrumented to monitor blood pressure and heart rate and for the intravenous administration of drugs. The cardiac baroreflex was evoked using bolus intravenous injections of phenylephrine (PE) and sodium nitroprusside (NaNp) at various doses and a graph of baroreflex sensitivity was constructed. Bilateral microinjections of the reversible anesthetic, lidocaine (5%, 300 nl), into the PBN did not significantly change baseline blood pressure or heart rate when compared to microinjections of saline (0.9%, 300 nl) into the PBN. The pressor or depressor responses evoked by bolus injections of PE or NaNp, respectively, were not significantly affected by the bilateral pretreatment of the PBN with lidocaine when compared to saline controls. However, approximately 30 min following lidocaine injection, the amplitudes of both the evoked-reflex bradycardia and reflex tachycardia were significantly increased by approximately 98%. The cardiovascular responses to various doses of PE and NaNp were graphed and baroreflex sensitivity curves were constructed. This graph showed an increased slope of the baroreflex sensitivity curve following lesions of the PBN. Reflex changes in heart rate returned to pre-lidocaine injection levels after approximately 2 h. The results of the present investigation suggest that the PBN participates in the modulation of the cardiac baroreflex which in turn suggests a role for this nucleus in the central integration of cardiovascular reflex function.

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