Sympathoexcitation by PVN-Injected Bicuculline Requires Activation of Excitatory Amino Acid Receptors

Qing Hui Chen, Joseph R. Haywood, Glenn M. Toney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Acute blockade of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-A receptors in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) increases mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and sympathetic nerve activity (SNA). However, the underlying neural mechanisms have not been fully determined. We tested the hypothesis that responses to GABA-A receptor blockade in the PVN require activation of local ionotropic excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors. MAP, HR, and renal SNA responses to unilateral PVN microinjection of bicuculline methobromide (BIC, 0.1 nmol) were recorded before and after ipsilateral PVN injection of either vehicle (saline), the nonselective ionotropic EAA receptor antagonist kynurenate (KYN), the NMDA receptor antagonist D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5), or the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide disodium (NBQX). Responses to PVN-injected BIC were unaltered by vehicle injection. In contrast, injection of KYN (7.2 nmol; n=4) nearly abolished ABP and renal SNA responses to BIC (P <0.01) and significantly attenuated (P <0.05) HR responses as well. Similarly, graded doses of AP5 (0.6, 3, and 6 nmol) and NBQX (0.26, 1.3, and 2.6 nmol) reduced responses to PVN-injected BIC in a dose-related manner, with the 3 nmol (n=7) and 1.3 nmol (n=6) doses producing maximal effects (P <0.05). KYN, AP5, and NBQX did not affect baseline parameters. Effects of a cocktail containing AP5 (3 nmol) and NBQX (1.3 nmol) were greater (P <0.01) than either antagonist alone and were not statistically different from KYN. These data indicate that cardiovascular and renal sympathetic responses to acute GABA-A receptor blockade in the PVN require local actions of EAAs at both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-731
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Arterial pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension, arterial
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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