Microinjections of urocortin1 into the nucleus ambiguus of the rat elicit bradycardia

Vineet C. Chitravanshi, Hreday N. Sapru

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14 Scopus citations


Urocortins are members of the hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) peptide family. Urocortin1 (UCN1) mRNA has been reported to be expressed in the brainstem neurons. The present investigation was carried out to test the hypothesis that microinjections of UCN1 into the nucleus ambiguus (nAmb) may elicit cardiac effects. Urethane-anesthetized, artificially ventilated, adult male Wistar rats, weighing between 300-350 g, were used. nAmb was identified by microinjections of L-glutamate (5 mM, 30 nl). Microinjections (30 nl) of different concentrations (0.062, 0.125, 0.25, and 0.5 mM) of UCN1 into the nAmb elicited bradycardic responses (26.5 ± 1, 30.1 ± 1.7, 46.9 ± 1.7, and 40.3 ± 2.6 beats/min, respectively). These heart rate responses were not accompanied by significant changes in mean arterial pressure. The bradycardic responses to maximally effective concentration of UCN1 (0.25 mM) were significantly (P < 0.05) attenuated by prior microinjections of a selective antagonist (NBI 27914, 1.5 mM) for CRF type 1 receptor (CRF1R). Prior microinjections of ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGLUR) antagonists [D-(-)-2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid and 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4- tetrahydrobenzo-(f)quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide disodium] also attenuated the bradycardia elicited by UCN1 microinjections into the nAmb. Microinjections of NBI 27914 (1.5 mM) into the nAmb did not alter baroreflex responses. Bilateral vagotomy abolished the bradycardic responses to microinjections of UCN1 into the nAmb. These results indicated that 1) microinjections of UCN1 into the nAmb elicited bradycardia, 2) the bradycardia was vagally mediated, 3) activation of CRF1Rs in the nAmb was responsible for the actions of UCN1, and 4) activation of iGLURs in the nAmb also participated in the bradycardia elicited by UCN1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H223-H229
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Corticotropin-releasing factor receptors
  • Vagus


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