Spontaneously firing units in the region of parabrachial nuclei (PB) and Kolliker-Fuse nuclei (KF) of 19 chloralose-anesthetized cats were monitored for changes in firing frequency during electrical stimulation of carotid sinus (CSN) and aortic depressor (ADN) nerves, of central nucleus of the amygdala (ACE), and of paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus (PVH). In the ipsilateral PB 64 of 189 and in the contralateral PB 9 of 103 units responded to CSN stimulation; 18 of 185 ipsilaterally and 7 of 97 contralaterally responded to ADN stimulation. Responses were primarily excitatory, and units were located primarily in the ventrolateral portion of the PB. Only 9 of 267 units responded to stimulation of both CSN and ADN. Stimulation of the ACE and PVH antidromically activated 9 and 7 units, respectively, in PB and approximately half of these also responded to buffer nerve stimulation. In the ipsilateral PB 56 of 207 and in the contralateral PB 11 of 103 units responded orthodromically to ACE stimulation, and 23 of 177 ipsilaterally and 2 of 103 contralaterally responded orthodromically to PVH stimulation with primarily excitatory responses and were located primarily in the ventrolateral portion of the PB and KF. Of these units approximately half also responded to buffer nerve stimulation. These results suggest an important role for PB-KF in mediating ascending and descending cardiovascular and respiratory control signals.
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