The adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) response to hemorrhage (15 ml . kg-1 . 3 min-1) before and 30 min or 4 days after placement of bilateral electrolytic lesions of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) were examined in anesthetized and in conscious rats. Two groups of rats were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium (45 mg/kg). Femoral arterial and venous cannulas were placed acutely in the anesthetized group and chronically in the conscious group. Each rat received a hemorrhage 30 min before and 30 min after NTS lesions (in the anesthetized group) and 1 day before and 4 days after NTS lesions (in the conscious group). Plasma ACTH was determined before and 20 min after hemorrhage, and mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate were measured throughout. The baroreceptor reflex (bradycardia caused by a phenylephrine-induced rise in MABP) was determined 5 min before hemorrhage (in the anesthetized group) and 1 day before hemorrhage (in the conscious group) to assess the effectiveness of lesion. Hexamethonium was given to rats that developed hypertension postlesion and to sham-lesioned controls. Plasma ACTH did not increase after hemorrhage 30 min or 4 days after NTS lesions when compared with the other groups (sham, sham with hexamethonium, and missed lesion) and to prelesion controls. Also, lesions of the NTS had no effect on resting ACTH levels 4 days later. Mean arterial pressure and heart rate decreased during hemorrhage to similar extents before and after lesions in all groups. This study demonstrates that lesions of the NTS eliminate the ACTH response to hemorrhage immediately and 4 days after the lesions but have no effect on resting ACTH levels. The result suggests that the NTS is an essential part of the neural pathway for ACTH release after hemorrhage.
- Copyright © 1986 the American Physiological Society