Ascending pressor and depressor pathways in the cat spinal cord

J. M. Chung, R. D. Wurster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Blood pressure responses to stimulation of the cervical dorsolateral sulcus (DLS) of the spinal cord and lumbar dorsal roots were studied in anesthetized, vagotomized, and paralyzed cats. Stimulation of the lumbar dorsal roots elicited pressor responses with high frequency stimulation (50 Hz, 10 V, 1 ms) and depressor responses with low frequency stimulation (1 Hz, 10 V, 1 ms). Pressor responses were converted to depressor responses after bilateral lesions were made in the DLS area rostral to the site of stimulation. These results suggest that the ascending spinal pressor pathways are localized in the DLS region. Furthermore, these depressor responses were abolished by placing additional bilateral lesions in the dorsolateral funiculus (DLF) rostral to the site of stimulation. These data indicate the presence of ascending depressor pathways in the DLF which are anatomically separate from pressor pathways. Both pathways were found to be bilateral systems, and decussation of fibers appears to be complete within three segments rostral to their entry into the spinal cord. Ascending depressor pathways have a low optimal frequency of activation, as opposed to the ascending pressor pathways which have a relatively high optimal frequency of activation. Neurophysiological evidence obtained by recording unit activity from the cervical sympathetic trunk confirmed the localization of the ascending pressor and depressor pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-792
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ascending pressor and depressor pathways in the cat spinal cord'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this