The periaqueductal gray (PAG) of the midbrain is involved in the autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system. The purpose of this study was to determine if static contraction of the skeletal muscle, which increases arterial blood pressure and heart rate, activates neuronal cells in the PAG by examining Fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI). Muscle contraction was induced by electrical stimulation of the L7 and S1 ventral roots of the spinal cord in anesthetized cats. An intravenous infusion of phenylephrine (PE) was used to selectively activate arterial baroreceptors. Extensive FLI was observed within the ventromedial region (VM) of the rostral PAG, the dorsolateral (DL), lateral (L), and ventrolateral (VL) regions of the middle and caudal PAG in barointact animals with muscle contractions, and in barointact animals with PE infusion. However, muscle contraction caused a lesser number of FLI in the VM region of the rostral PAG, the DL, L, and VL regions of the middle PAG and the L and VL regions of the caudal PAG after barodenervation compared with barointact animals. Additionally, the number of FLI in the DL and L regions of the middle PAG was greater in barodenervated animals with muscle contraction than in barodenervated control animals. Thus these results indicated that both muscle receptor and baroreceptor afferent inputs activate neuronal cells in regions of the PAG during muscle contraction. Furthermore, afferents from skeletal muscle activate neurons in specific regions of the PAG independent of arterial baroreceptor input. Therefore, neuronal cells in the PAG may play a role in determining the cardiovascular responses during the exercise pressor reflex.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|Issue number||6 48-6|
|State||Published - 2000|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)