Sympathoadrenal excitation and inhibition by lower brainstem stimulation in cats

C. Y. Chai*, A. M.Y. Lin, C. K. Su, S. R. Hu, C. Yuan, L. S. Kao, J. S. Kuo, David S. Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Effects of stimulation of brainstem sites on hemodynamics and plasma catecholamine levels were assessed in cats under chloralose-urethane anesthesia. Pressor areas of the dorsal medulla (DM) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM) and the depressor area of the paramedian reticular nucleus (PRN) were stimulated electrically using a monopolar electrode, or chemically using sodium glutamate microinjection. Plasma levels of norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (EPI) were measured in caval blood above the adrenal veins. Electrical stimulation of the DM and VLM produced increases in blood pressure and in plasma NE and EPI levels that were enhanced after acute vagotomies. The NE and EPI responses were attenuated after acute, bilateral adrenalectomies, confirming augmented adrenomedullary secretion, whereas the pressor responses were intact. Injection of sodium glutamate into the same pressor regions of the DM or VLM also produced pressor responses and elevated plasma catecholamine levels, indicating that the responses resulted from activation of neuronal perikarya. Stimulation of the PRN attenuated pressor and catecholamine responses during stimulation of the DM and VLM. The results indicate that pressor responses during stimulation of the DM and VLM are due at least partly to activation of perikarya in these regions, are associated with but not dependent on adrenomedullary activation, and are enhanced after vagotomy; and that neurons of the PRN exert inhibitory modulation of the pressor and adrenomedullary responses during stimulation of the VLM and DM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Autonomic Nervous System
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1991


  • Adrenalectomy
  • Brainstem
  • Catecholamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Glutamate
  • Medulla
  • Norepinephrine
  • Nucleus of the solitary tract
  • Paramedian reticular nucleus
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Vagotomy


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