Single unit activity of serotonergic (5-HT) neurons in the nucleus raphe dorsalis (NRD) and of noradrenergic (NE) neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) was recorded in relation to the cardiac cycle in awake, freely moving cats. The discharge of NRD-5-HT neurons showed no relationship to the cardiac cycle, while LC-NE neurons displayed a cardiac periodicity such that the units were most likely to fire from 80 to 180 ms after the peak of the cardiac r-wave (diastole), and least likely to fire during the period from 40 ms before to 60 ms after the r-wave (systole). The strength of this periodicity was inversely related to the discharge rate of individual cells. Exposure to a noxious environmental stimulus (15 min of 100 dB white noise) greatly attenuated the cardiac relationship of LC-NE neurons. A blood volume expansion of approximately 15% (9.0 ml/kg b. wt.) decreased unit rate by about 25%, but did not alter either the timing or the magnitude of the LC-NE cardiac relationship. These data are discussed in terms of the participation of NRD-5-HT and LC-NE neurons in cardiovascular function, and the possible role of LC-NE neurons in short-and long-term volume homeostasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology