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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


CAMPOS, R.R. et al. Role of the caudal pressor area in the regulation of sympathetic vasomotor tone. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.7, pp.557-562. ISSN 1414-431X.

It is well known that the ventrolateral medulla contains neurons involved in the tonic and reflex control of the cardiovascular system. Two regions within the ventrolateral medulla were initially identified: the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) and the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM). Activation of the RVLM raises arterial blood pressure and sympathetic nerve activity, and activation of the CVLM causes opposite effects. The RVLM premotor neurons project directly to sympathetic preganglionic neurons and are involved in the maintenance of resting sympathetic vasomotor tone. A significant proportion of tonic activity in the RVLM sympathetic premotor neurons is driven by neurons located in a third region of the ventrolateral medulla denominated caudal pressor area (CPA). The CPA is a pressor region located at the extreme caudal part of the ventrolateral medulla that appears to have an important role controlling the activity of RVLM neurons. In this brief review, we will address the importance of the ventrolateral medulla neurons for the generation of resting sympathetic tone related to arterial blood pressure control focusing on two regions, the RVLM and the CPA.

Keywords : Rostral ventrolateral medulla; Rat; Glutamate; Blood pressure; Caudal pressor area; Sympathetic vasomotor tone.

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