Cardiovascular effects of nitric oxide and adenosine in the nucleus tractus solitarii of rats

Wan Chen Lo, Chung Ren Jan, Sheng Nan Wu, Ching Jiunn Tseng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

38 Scopus citations


It has been shown that nitric oxide (NO) is synthesized in the central nervous system as well as in vascular endothelial cells. We recently reported that NO was involved in central cardiovascular regulation, modulated the baroreflex, and was involved in a reciprocal release with excitatory amino acids in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) of rats. We also reported previously that adenosine increased the release of glutamate in the NTS. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the possible interaction of NO and adenosine in the NTS. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with urethane, and blood pressure was monitored intra-arterially. Unilateral microinjection of L-arginine (3.3 nmol/60 nL) into the NTS produced decreases in blood pressure and heart rate. Microinjection of adenosine (2.3 nmol/60 nL) also produced depressive and bradycardic effects. These cardiovascular effects were attenuated by prior administration of the specific adenosine receptor antagonist DPSPX (0.92 nmol). Similarly, prior administration of NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine or N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester significantly attenuated the depressive and bradycardic effects of adenosine. These results demonstrate a reciprocal attenuation of adenosine receptor antagonist and NO synthase inhibitor on L-arginine and adenosine responses, respectively, in the NTS and implicate an interaction between NO and adenosine in central cardiovascular regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1038
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenosine
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nucleus tractus solitarii


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