Stimulation of area postrema by vasopressin and angiotensin II modulates neuronal activity in the nucleus tractus solitarius

Yurong Cai, Meredith Hay, Vernon S. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


There is an abundance of evidence suggesting that the area postrema (AP) is involved in the central actions of argininevasopressin (AVP) and angiotensin II (Ang II) on cardiovascular regulation. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that activation of the AP facililates the response of nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) neurons to tractus stimulation. In the present study, using the perfused rabbit brain slice preparation, we examined the response of NTS neurons when AVP and Ang II were microinjected onto the AP. Spontaneous or solitary tract stimulation-induced neuronal activity was recorded extracellularly from the medial NTS before, during and after AVP or Ang II application. An increase or decrease in activity by more than 30% of the baseline value was considered excitatory or inhibitory. The effects of AVP were studied in 57 NTS cells, 14 of which were spontaneously active and 43 were driven by tract stimulation. Of the cells with evoked activity, 49% were excited, 19% were inhibited, and 32% did not respond. The percentage of cells responding to AVP was similar in spontaneously active cells. The effects of Ang II were tested in 85 cells including 54 with evoked activity and 31 with spontaneous activity. In NTS cells with evoked activity, AP application of Ang II caused inhibition in 37%, excitation in 7%, while 56% did not respond. The proportion of cells responding to Ang II was similar in spontaneously active cells. These results suggest that AVP may act on the AP to increase the excitatory response of NTS neurons while the actions of Ang II result in an inhibitory influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 6 1994


  • Angiotensin II
  • Area postrema
  • Arginine-vasopressin
  • Baroreflex
  • Brain slice
  • Nucleus tractus solitarius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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