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The physiological role of AT1 receptors in the ventrolateral medulla

DOI: 10.1590/S0100-879X2000000600005

Keywords: angiotensin receptors, central cardiovascular pathways, blood pressure, hypothalamus, neurotransmitters.

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neurons in the rostral and caudal parts of the ventrolateral medulla (vlm) play a pivotal role in the regulation of sympathetic vasomotor activity and blood pressure. studies in several species, including humans, have shown that these regions contain a high density of at1 receptors specifically associated with neurons that regulate the sympathetic vasomotor outflow, or the secretion of vasopressin from the hypothalamus. it is well established that specific activation of at1 receptors by application of exogenous angiotensin ii in the rostral and caudal vlm excites sympathoexcitatory and sympathoinhibitory neurons, respectively, but the physiological role of these receptors in the normal synaptic regulation of vlm neurons is not known. in this paper we review studies which have defined the effects of specific activation or blockade of these receptors on cardiovascular function, and discuss what these findings tell us with regard to the physiological role of at1 receptors in the vlm in the tonic and phasic regulation of sympathetic vasomotor activity and blood pressure.


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