Viscerotopic control of regional vascular beds by discrete groups of neurons within the midbrain periaqueductal gray

P. Carrive, R. Bandler*, R. A L Dampney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


It is well established that a group of bulbospinal neurons within the rostral ventrolateral medulla plays a crucial role in the tonic and phasic control of arterial pressure. In the cat, these neurons are confined to a discrete region which has been termed the subretrofacial (SRF) nucleus. Recent evidence suggests that this nucleus is viscerotopically organized with respect to its control over different vascular beds. These observations raise the question as to whether functionally different subgroups of SRF pressor neurons receive inputs from supramedullary cell groups that also exert a specific control over particular vascular beds. To answer this question retrogradely transported tracers (i.e. rhodamine or fluorescein-labelled microspheres, wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase) were injected into physiologically identified sites within the rostral or caudal parts of the SRF nucleus of the cat. Separate groups of neurons in the midbrain periaqueductal gray region (PAG) were found to project specifically to subgroups of cells within the rostral and caudal parts of the SRF nucleus. These findings, together with the results of recent functional studies of the PAG suggest that these distinct projections from the PAG to the SRF nucleus are involved in the expression of different patterns of emotionally coupled cardiovascular responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Defense reaction
  • Excitatory amino acid
  • Hypertension
  • Midbrain periaqueductal gray
  • Rostral ventrolateral medulla
  • Subretrofacial nucleus
  • Viscerotopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Viscerotopic control of regional vascular beds by discrete groups of neurons within the midbrain periaqueductal gray'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this