Differential cardiovascular changes as a function of stimulation electrode site in rabbit hypothalamus

Larry D. Sampson, Neil Schneiderman, Jeffrey Wallach, William J. Gavin, James S. Francis

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Twenty chronically prepared, unanesthetized rabbits received both high-frequency (200 pulse/sec), short pulse-train (1.0 sec) and relatively low-frequency (25 pulse-sec), long pulse-train (10 sec) electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus. High-frequency, short pulse-train stimulation elicited a pressor response and bradycardia at all 27 electrode sites. In contrast, three other cardiovascular response patterns were obtained following low-frequency, long pulse-train stimulation. These latter patterns reflected a medial-lateral organization of autonomic function within the hypothalamus. Whereas all 15 lateral hypothalamic placements yielded depressor responses, 7 of 12 medial hypothalamic placements yielded pressor responses and tachycardia. Cardiovascular changes following administration of selective autonomic blocking agents (e.g., phentolamine, propranolol, methylatropine) suggest that high-frequency, short pulse-train stimulation elicited a pressor response followed by a reflexive bradycardia essentially mediated by an increase in vagal restraint. In contrast, the heart rate changes observed to low-frequency, long pulse-train stimulation all appear to have been importantly influenced by changes at the heart in beta-adrenergic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1977


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