Angiotensin potentiates excitatory sensory synaptic transmission to medial solitary tract nucleus neurons

Karen L. Barnes, Dannette M. DeWeese, Michael C. Andresen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Femtomole doses of angiotensin (ANG) II microinjected into nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) decrease blood pressure and heart rate, mimicking activation of the baroreflex, whereas higher doses depress this reflex. ANG II might generate cardioinhibitory responses by augmenting cardiovascular afferent synaptic transmission onto nTS neurons. Intracellular recordings were obtained from 99 dorsal medial nTS region neurons in rat medulla horizontal slices to investigate whether ANG II modulated short-latency excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) evoked by solitary tract (TS) stimulation. ANG II (200 fmol) increased TS-evoked EPSP amplitudes 20-200% with minimal membrane depolarization in 12 neurons excited by ANG II and glutamate, but not substance P (group A). Blockade of non-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors eliminated TS-evoked EPSPs and responses to ANG II. ANG II did not alter TS-evoked EPSPs in 14 other neurons depolarized substantially by ANG II and substance P (group B). ANG II appeared to selectively augment presynaptic sensory transmission in one class of nTS neurons but had only postsynaptic effects on another group of cells. Thus ANG II is likely to modulate cardiovascular function by more than one nTS neuronal pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1340-R1353
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 53-5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Cardiovascular regulation
  • L-glutamate
  • Substance P, non-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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