Differential role of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in modulating the sympathoexcitatory component of peripheral and central chemoreflexes

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In the present study we investigated the involvement of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in the modulation of sympathoexcitatory reflex activated by peripheral and central chemoreceptors. We measured mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), and phrenic nerve activity (PNA) before and after blocking neurotransmission within the PVN by bilateral microinjection of 2% lidocaine (100 nl) during specific stimulation of peripheral chemoreceptors by potassium cyanide (KCN, 75 μg/kg iv, bolus dose) or stimulation of central chemoreceptors with hypercapnia (10% CO2). Typically stimulation of peripheral chemoreceptors evoked a reflex response characterized by an increase in MAP, RSNA, and PNA and a decrease in HR. Bilateral microinjection of 2% lidocaine into the PVN had no effect on basal sympathetic and cardiorespiratory variables; however, the RSNA and PNA responses evoked by peripheral chemoreceptor stimulation were attenuated (P < 0.05). Bilateral microinjection of bicuculline (50 pmol/50 nl, n = 5) into the PVN augmented the RSNA and PNA response to peripheral chemoreceptor stimulation (P < 0.05). Conversely, the GABA agonist muscimol (0.2 nmol/50 nl, n = 5) injected into the PVN attenuated these reflex responses (P < 0.05). Blocking neurotransmission within the PVN had no effect on the hypercapnia-induced central chemoreflex responses in carotid body denervated animals. These results suggest a selective role of the PVN in processing the sympathoexcitatory and ventilatory component of the peripheral, but not central, chemoreflex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R789-R797
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 58-3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Carotid body
  • Chemoreceptors
  • Phrenic nerve activity
  • Renal sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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