Effect of the cholinergic system of the lateral periaqueductal gray (lPAG) on blood pressure and heart rate in normal and hydralazine hypotensive rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Applied Biomedical Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Material Science and Metallurgy Engineering, Islamic Azad University-Karaj Branch

4 Division of Neurocognitive Sciences, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s): Due to the presence of the cholinergic system in the lateral periaqueductal gray (lPAG) column, the cardiovascular effects of Acetylcholine (ACH) and its receptors in normotensive and hydralazine (HYD) hypotensive rats in this area were evaluated.
Materials and Methods: After anesthesia, the femoral artery was cannulated and systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and also electrocardiogram for evaluation of low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) bands, important components of heart rate variability (HRV), were recorded. ACH, atropine (Atr, a muscarinic antagonist), and hexamethonium (Hex, an antagonist nicotinic) alone and together microinjected into lPAG, changes (Δ) of cardiovascular responses and normalized (n) LF, HF, and LF/HF ratio were analyzed.
Results: In normotensive rats, ACH decreased SBP and MAP, and enhanced HR while Atr and Hex did had no effects. In co-injection of Atr and Hex with ACH, only ACH+Atr significantly attenuated parameters. In HYD hypotension, ACH had no affect but Atr and Hex significantly improved the hypotensive effect. Co-injection of Atr and Hex with ACH decreased the hypotensive effect but the effect of Atr+ACH was higher. In normotensive rats, ACH decreased nLF, nHF, and nLF/nHF ratio. These parameters in the Atr +ACH group were significantly higher than in ACH group. In HYD hypotension nLF and nLF/nHF ratio increased which was attenuated by ACH. Also, Atr+ACH decreased nLF and nLF/nHF ratio and increased nHF.
Conclusion: The cholinergic system of lPAG mainly via muscarinic receptors has an inhibitory effect on the cardiovascular system. Based on HRV assessment, peripheral cardiovascular effects are mostly mediated by the parasympathetic system.


Main Subjects

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