Some neural mechanism must prevent the full expression of the baroreceptor reflex during static exercise because arterial blood pressure increases even though the baroreceptors are functioning. Two likely candidates are central command and input from the thin fiber muscle afferents evoking the exercise pressor reflex. Recently, activation of the mesencephalic locomotor region, an anatomical locus for central command, was found to inhibit the discharge of nucleus tractus solitarius cells that were stimulated by arterial baroreceptors in decerebrated cats. In contrast, the effect of thin fiber muscle afferent input on the discharge of nucleus tractus solitarius cells stimulated by baroreceptors is not known. Consequently in decerebrated unanesthetized cats, we examined the responses of barosensory nucleus tractus solitarius cells to stimulation of thin fiber muscle afferents and to stimulation of the mesencephalic locomotor region, a maneuver which evoked fictive locomotion. We found that electrical stimulation of either the mesencephalic locomotor region or the gastrocnemius nerve at current intensities that recruited group III afferents inhibited the discharge of nucleus tractus solitarius cells receiving baroreceptor input. We also found that the inhibitory effects of both gastrocnemius nerve stimulation and mesencephalic locomotor region stimulation converged onto the same barosensory nucleus tractus solitarius cells. We conclude that the nucleus tractus solitarius is probably the site whereby input from both central command and thin fiber muscle afferents function to reset the baroreceptor reflex during exercise.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - May 29 2006|
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