1. Activation of cell bodies in the ventrolateral part of the midbrain periaqueductal grey matter (PAG) facilitates the arterial baroreflex via the nucleus raphe magnus. The facilitatory effects of stimulation within the hypothalamus on the arterial baroreflex and their relation to the PAG and nucleus raphe magnus were studied in urethane‐ and chloralose‐anaesthetized rats. 2. Systematic mapping experiments revealed that the preoptic area (POA) is the principal location in the hypothalamus of neuronal cell bodies that are responsible for the potentiation of the baroreflex. In addition to provoking hypotension and vagal bradycardia, both electrical and chemical stimulation of the POA produced facilitation of baroreflex vagal bradycardia (BVB) that was evoked by electrical stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve. Baroreflex hypotension was slightly augmented during activation of the POA in vagotomized rats. 3. Selective destruction of cell bodies either in the ventrolateral PAG or in the nucleus raphe magnus reduced facilitation of BVB by the POA. Hypotension and bradycardia due to POA stimulation were also markedly attenuated after such selective destruction. 4. In conclusion, the POA, the ventrolateral PAG and the nucleus raphe magnus constitute a functional complex that produces cardiovascular trophotropic effects including hypotension, vagal bradycardia and baroreflex facilitation.
The Journal of Physiology – Wiley
Published: Oct 15, 1995
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