Ventrolateral medulla

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The ventrolateral medulla, part of the medulla oblongata of the brainstem, plays a major role in regulating arterial blood pressure and breathing. It regulates blood pressure by regulating the activity of the sympathetic nerves that target the heart and peripheral blood vessels.[1]

The ventrolateral medulla consists of a rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) and a caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM).[2] Neurons in the RVLM project directly to preganglionic neurons in the spinal cord and maintain tonic activity in the sympathetic vasomotor nerves. This activity is inhibited by GABA output from the CVLM.[3][4]


  1. ^ Ann M. Schreihofer, Alan F. Sved (2011). "The Ventrolateral Medulla and Sympathetic Regulation of Arterial Pressure". In Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith and Anthony J. M. Verberne (eds.). Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306637.003.0005.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Campos, RR; Carillo, BA; Oliveira-Sales, EB; Silva, AM; Silva, NF; Futuro Neto, HA; Bergamaschi, CT (July 2008). "Role of the caudal pressor area in the regulation of sympathetic vasomotor tone". Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. 41 (7): 557–62. doi:10.1590/s0100-879x2008000700002. PMID 18719736.
  3. ^ Dampney, RA; Horiuchi, J; Tagawa, T; Fontes, MA; Potts, PD; Polson, JW (March 2003). "Medullary and supramedullary mechanisms regulating sympathetic vasomotor tone". Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. 177 (3): 209–18. doi:10.1046/j.1365-201X.2003.01070.x. PMID 12608991.
  4. ^ Sved, AF; Ito, S; Madden, CJ; Stocker, SD; Yajima, Y (June 2001). "Excitatory inputs to the RVLM in the context of the baroreceptor reflex". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 940 (1): 247–58. Bibcode:2001NYASA.940..247S. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb03681.x. PMID 11458682.