Cholinergic systems in the nucleus of the solitary tract of rats

Miwako Shihara, Nobuaki Hori, Yoshitaka Hirooka, Kenichi Eshima, Norio Akaike, Akira Takeshita

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The pharmacological and physiological properties of excitatory amino acid and ACh systems in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) were studied in slices of rat brain stem by extracellular and intracellular recordings from neurons activated by solitary tract (ST) stimulation. These neurons were characterized as having several long dendrites with multiple varicosities. Synaptic activation of the medial NTS (mNTS) neurons by ST stimulation was mediated by non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate (Glu) receptors, because the excitation was blocked by 6-cyano-7-nitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione but not by NMDA, nicotinic, or muscarinic antagonists. Identified raNTS neurons were excited by iontophoresis of both Glu and ACh. The most sensitive region of the cell was on the dendrites ~100 μm from the cell body for both putative neurotransmitters. Nicotinic and/or muscarinic excitatory ACh responses were detected on the raNTS neurons. Our observations suggest that both types of ACh receptors may contribute to the attenuation of the baroreceptor reflex, but the functional correlation of this receptor profile remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1141-R1148
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 45-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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