Studies on Enkephalinergic Mechanisms in Cardiovascular Centers of the Medulla Oblongata of the Rat and their Interactions with Centrally Administered Neuropeptide Y

  • A. Härfstrand
  • K. Fuxe
  • L. F. Agnati
  • A. Cintra
  • M. Kalia
  • L. Terenius


In our previous work beta-endorphin, morphine, and d-ala2-met-enkephalinamide in the nanomolar range were found to produce preferential vasodepressor responses and bradycardia upon intracisternal (i. c.) injection into the alpha-chloralose anesthetized rat [1]. Leu- and met-enkephalin and alpha neo-endorphin administered in the same way preferentially produced vasopressor actions, which with the two latter peptides were associated with bradycardia. Both the pressor and depressor responses were counteracted by naloxone pretreatment i. c., but the depressor actions were preferentially sensitive to the blocking activity of naloxone. These results indicated the existence of two types of opiate receptors in central cardiovascular regulation, both innervated by enkephalin immunoreactive (IR) terminals [2]. Subsequent work has also demonstrated the existence of high densities of the dynorphin IR nerve terminals and cell bodies within the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) and in the nucleus ambiguus [3, 4]. The dynorphin synapses may inter alia operate via kappa-opiate-receptors, and an injection of preferential kappa-opiate agonists into the nucleus ambiguus and nTS produces cardiovascular actions [5]. Both enkephalin and dynorphin peptides and their associated opiate receptors may therefore be involved in the regulation of the activity of the cardiovascular centers of the medulla oblongata.


Mean Arterial Blood Pressure Medulla Oblongata Opiate Receptor Area Postrema Nucleus Ambiguus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Härfstrand
    • 1
  • K. Fuxe
    • 1
  • L. F. Agnati
    • 1
  • A. Cintra
    • 1
  • M. Kalia
    • 1
  • L. Terenius
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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