Novel axonal projection from the caudal end of the ventrolateral medulla to the intermediolateral cell column

Kamon Iigaya, Hiroo Kumagai, Hiroshi Onimaru, Akira Kawai, Naoki Oshima, Toshiko Onami, Chie Takimoto, Tadashi Kamayachi, Koichi Hayashi, Takao Saruta, Hiroshi Itoh

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We used an optical imaging technique to investigate whether axons of neurons in the caudal end of the ventrolateral medulla (CeVLM), as well as axons of neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), project to neurons in the intermediolateral cell column (IML) of the spinal cord. Brain stem-spinal cord preparations from neonatal normotensive Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats were stained with a voltage-sensitive dye, and responses to electrical stimulation of the IML at the Th2 level were detected as changes in fluorescence intensity with an optical imaging apparatus (MiCAM-01). The results were as follows: 1) depolarizing responses to IML stimulation during low-Ca high-Mg superfusion were detected on the ventral surface of the medulla at the level of the CeVLM, as well as at the level of the RVLM, 2) depolarizing responses were also detected on cross sections at the level of the CeVLM, and they had a latency of 24.0 ± 5.5 (SD) ms, 3) antidromic action potentials in response to IML stimulation were demonstrated in the CeVLM neurons where optical images were detected, and 4) glutamate application to the CeVLM increased the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and induced depolarization of the IML neurons. The optical imaging findings suggested a novel axonal and functional projection from neurons in the CeVLM to the IML. The increase in EPSPs of the IML neurons in response to glutamate application suggests that the CeVLM participates in the regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure and may correspond to the caudal pressor area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R927-R936
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb


  • Caudal pressor area
  • Monosynaptic bulbospinal projection
  • Optical imaging
  • Patch-clamp technique
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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