A vasopressor cell group in the rostral dorsomedial medulla of the rabbit

A. K. Goodchild*, R. A L Dampney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Microinjections of sodium glutamate solution (which excites neuronal cell bodies but not axons of passage) into a circumscribed region within the dorsal reticular formation in the rostral medulla oblongata evoked a large increase in arterial pressure due to widespread vasoconstriction. In spontaneously breathing animals, glutamate stimulation of the pressor region did not affect respiratory activity and evoked only a very small and transient increase in electromyographic activity of axial skeletal muscles. The pressor response was not reduced by decerebration or decerebellation, indicating that the pathway connecting the dorsomedial pressor region to the spinal sympathetic outflow is intrinsic to the lower brainstem and spinal cord. Anatomical observations in the present study, combined with those from previous studies, indicate that neurons in this region do not project directly to the spinal cord and do not receive direct afferent inputs from the nucleus tractus solitarius. It is concluded that there exists a circumscribed group of vasopressor neuronal cell bodies within the rostral dorsomedial medulla. The anatomical connections of these neurons, however, are markedly different from those of a previously described group of vasopressor neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, suggesting that the two groups may have different functional roles in cardiovascular regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • arterial pressure regulation
  • baroreceptor reflex
  • brainstem
  • central vasomotor neuron
  • glutamate stimulation
  • regional blood flow


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