Interactions of area postrema and solitary tract in the nucleus tractus solitarius

M. Hay, V. S. Bishop

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44 Scopus citations


The nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) receives information from both area postrema (AP) and peripheral afferents. It is, therefore, one likely site of interaction between AP and peripheral afferent fibers. The present study's purpose was to determine the influence of AP stimulation on solitary tract-induced modulation of NTS neuronal activity. With the use of an in vitro rabbit brain slice preparation, extracellular recordings were made from 58 NTS neurons in which action potentials were evoked by both solitary tract and AP stimulation. In the majority of the cells tested, simultaneous stimulation of solitary tract and AP, at voltage levels that evoked no action potentials when stimulated separately, resulted in production of either single or multiple action potentials. In 27 units, stimulation levels to the solitary tract and to the AP were adjusted such that their respective separate stimulations produced an NTS action potential <30% of the time. When the two inputs were stimulated together, simultaneous stimulations produced an NTS action potential 100% of the time, suggesting a facilitatory interaction between the AP and the solitary tract on NTS neuronal activity. In nine cells, perfusion of the slice with clonidine induced a facilitation of solitary tract-evoked NTS response to a level similar to that seen during simultaneous stimulation of the solitary tract with the AP. Application of the α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist yohimbine blocked the ability of both clonidine and AP to facilitate the solitary tract-evoked response. These results support a possible interaction between AP and peripheral afferents and suggest that AP stimulation facilitates effects of solitary tract activation at the level of the NTS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1466-H1473
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 29-5
StatePublished - 1991


  • Brain slice
  • Circumventricular organ
  • Nucleus of solitary tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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