Effects of area postrema stimulation on neurons of the nucleus of the solitary tract

M. Hay, V. S. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that neurons of the area postrema may modulate cardiovascular function through an interaction at the level of the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Using an in vitro brain slice preparation of the rabbit medulla, the present study investigated the electrophysiological and pharmacological effects of area postrema stimulation on NTS neuronal activity. In the majority of neurons tested (85.7%), electrical stimulation of the area postrema consistently produced either single or multiple action potentials in NTS neurons. Latency values for neurons showing single spike responses to area postrema stimulation ranged from 3.0 to 17.0 ms with an average latency of 9.3 ± 4.3 ms. The average threshold for area postrema activation of these nonspontaneously active NTS neurons was 99.8 ± 12 μA with a stimulus threshold range between 15 and 200 μA (n = 53). Perfusion of the slice with phentolamine (1.0 μM) or yohimbine (200 nM) blocked the area postrema-evoked action potentials, whereas perfusion of the slice with prazosin (200 nM) had no effect. These findings suggest that area postrema neurons do modulate NTS neuronal activity and that this modulation results in an increase in NTS neuronal activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1359-H1364
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 29/4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Brain slice
  • Nucleus tractus solitarius
  • α-adrenoreceptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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