Chemical stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarii decreases cerebral blood flow in anesthetized rats

Masanobu Maeda, Masatsugu Nakai, Abbott J. Krieger, Hreday N. Sapru

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In anesthetized (chloralose and urethane), paralyzed and artificially ventilated rats, the neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) were chemically stimulated by microinjections of l-glutamate and the cerebral blood flow (CBF) was determined using a combination of labeled microspheres (either 57Co, 113Sn and 46Sc or 141Ce, 85Sr and 46Sc). Unilateral chemical stimulation of the NTS (n = 14) decreased CBF significantly in most brain areas. The decrease in CBF was not due to the decrease in arterial blood pressure (ABP) because the CBF of the whole cerebral cortex during the chemical stimulation of the NTS was significantly smaller (P < 0.05) than the CBF during controlled hemorrhagic hypotension (n = 10). In another group of rats (n = 6), moderate hypertension was induced by blood transfusion. Unilateral chemical stimulation of the NTS in these rats decreased ABP but it remained within normotensive range. A significant (P < 0.05) decrease in CBF (from 62 ± 28 (mean ± S.D.) to 48 ± 23 ml·min-1·(100 g)-1) and increase in cerebrovascular resistance (from 1.9 ± 1.2 to 2.6 ± 1.2 mm Hg per [ml·min-1·(100 g)-1]) was observed in the whole cerebral cortex of these rats. Chemical stimulation of the NTS did not affect the reactivity of the cerebral vessels to hypercapnea (n = 5). These results suggest that the cell bodies within the NTS may play a role in the control of cerebral circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 18 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Autoregulation
  • Cerebrovascular circulation
  • Hemorrhage
  • Microsphere
  • l-Glutamate

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