Endomorphin-2 in the medial NTS attenuates the responses to baroreflex activation

Eddy Viard, Hreday N. Sapru

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18 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that microinjections of endomorphin-2 (E-2; an endogenous mu-receptor agonist) into the medial subnucleus of the NTS (mNTS) elicit depressor and bradycardic responses via activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors located on secondary mNTS-neurons. Based on this report, it was hypothesized that activation of secondary mNTS neurons by E-2 may result in an exaggeration of baroreflex responses. In order to test this hypothesis, baroreflex responses were studied in adult, urethane-anesthetized, artificially ventilated, male Wistar rats before and after the microinjections of E-2 into the mNTS. Baroreceptors were stimulated by applying pressure increments (80-100 mm Hg) in the carotid sinus and by electrical stimulation (stimulus intensity: 0.5 V, frequencies 5, 10, and 25 pulses/s, pulse duration: 1 ms) of the aortic nerve for 30-s periods. Baroreceptor stimulation elicited depressor and bradycardic responses. Microinjections (100 nl) of E-2 (0.4 mmol/l) into the mNTS attenuated the baroreflex responses. Microinjections of naloxone (an opioid receptor antagonist) into the mNTS (0.5 mmol/l) did not alter baroreflex responses. Based on these results, it was concluded that activation of mu-opioid receptors in the mNTS attenuates baroreflex responses. Possible mechanisms for excitatory effects of E-2 in the mNTS resulting in depressor and bradycardic responses, on one hand, and inhibitory effects resulting in attenuation of baroreflex responses, on the other, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-373
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 16 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Baroreflex
  • Blood pressure
  • Endomorphin
  • Heart rate
  • Mu-opioid receptor
  • Naloxone


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