These studies were designed to determine if the hypotensive effects of bilateral electrolytic lesions of the rostral ventrolateral medulla are dependent on the type of anesthetic agent used. The lesions caused an immediate fall in mean arterial pressure (MAP) in rats anesthetized with urethane, α-chloralose or sodium pentobarbital. At 30 min after placement of the lesions, severe hypotension (MAP = 54 ± 5 mm Hg) persisted in the rats anesthetized with urethane. However, 30 min after placement of the lesions, the MAP of rats anesthetized with α-chloralose or sodium pentobarbital was 87 ± 9 mm Hg and 99 ± 10 mm Hg, respectively. Subsequent transection of the cervical spinal cord produced a much greater decrease in MAP in rats anesthetized with α-chloralose and sodium pentobarbital as compared to rats anesthetized with urethane. Heart rate was significantly lower after placement of the lesions in all 3 groups. We conclude that the magnitude of the hypotensive effect caused by placement of lesions in the rostral ventrolateral medulla is anesthetic-dependent and that the rostral ventrolateral medulla is not the only area of the central nervous system capable of maintaining vasomotor tone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology