Intrathecal kynurenate reduces arterial pressure, heart rate and baroreceptor-heart rate reflex in conscious rats

Anthony J.M. Verberne, Robert E. Widdop, Carlo Maccarrone, Bevyn Jarrott, Philip M. Beart, William J. Louis

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In the present study, an excitatory amino acid (EAA) pathway in the spinal cord which maintains sympathetic vasomotor tone in conscious rats has been investigated. To this end, the cardiovascular effects of an intrathecally administered EAA antagonist, kynurenate (KYN), were studied in conscious rats. KYN (0.5 μmol in 10 μl) caused a dramatic reduction in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) that persisted for 2-3h, and also resulted in extensor paralysis of the hindlimbs. The time courses of fall in MAP and HR and hindlimb paralysis were similar. Baroreceptor-HR reflex activity was also markedly impaired after KYN, suggesting functional diminution of sympathetic outflow at the level of the spinal cord after blockade of EAA receptors by KYN. Xanthurenate, a metabolite of KYN without EAA antagonistic properties, produced negligible effects at the same dose of KYN. While these findings do not identify the putative EAA pathway, they do provide the first demonstration that this system is tonically active in conscious rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Baroreceptor reflex
  • Blood pressure
  • Glutamate transmitter
  • Intrathecal injection
  • Kynurenate
  • Rat

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