Central neurons and neurotransmitters in the control of blood pressure
1. In this paper we review recent work from our laboratory on two major pathways important in the central control of blood pressure. 2. We report experiments on the sympatho-excitatory bulbospinal pathway from the rostral ventral medulla. Here we focus particularly on the role of excitatory amino acids. 3. We review studies on the short inhibitory or depressor pathway ascending from the caudal to the rostral ventral medulla, which is thought to use γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as its neurotransmitter. We report on experiments with the immediate early gene, c-fos, demonstrating that its expression in the bulbospinal presser neurons is increased by stimuli that activate these nerves, and that this expression can be blocked in vivo by treatment with an antisense oligonucleotide. We also show that basal and stimulated expression of the c-fos gene is important in the central control of blood pressure.