Identification of baroreceptor reflex interneurons in the caudal ventrolateral medulla

I. Jeske, S. F. Morrison, S. L. Cravo, D. J. Reis

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108 Scopus citations


Interrupting neuronal activity in the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVL) abolishes baroreceptor-mediated sympathoinhibition and vasodepressor responses. In the present study we identified CVL neurons that function as interneurons in the baroreceptor reflex arc. The mean antidromic onset latency of CVL neurons (5 ms) after stimulation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVL) suggests that they transmit information to the RVL via unmyelinated axons. Stimulation of baroreceptor afferents in the aortic depressor nerve (ADN) excited CVL neurons projecting to the RVL with onset latencies between 15 and 45 ms. The short-latency ADN stimulus-evoked excitation of CVL barosensory interneurons preceded the onset of the ADN stimulus-evoked inhibition of RVL-spinal sympathoexcitatory neurons. Longer- latency ADN-evoked CVL neuronal responses may arise from activation of unmyelinated ADN afferents that can prolong the inhibition of RVL sympathoexcitatory neurons. The excitation of CVL barosensory interneurons resulting from the systolic pressure rise was followed by a period of decreased excitability of RVL sympathoexcitatory neurons, which was of comparable duration to the increase in the discharge probability of CVL neurons. Our characterization of baroreceptor reflex interneurons in the CVL suggests that transmission of baroreceptor information involves a complex activation of medullary interneurons responding selectively to different aspects of the arterial pressure stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R169-R178
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1 33-1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • aortic depressor nerve
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular
  • rat
  • reticulospinal
  • rostral ventrolateral medulla
  • splanchnic sympathetic nerve
  • sympathoinhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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