Regional blood flow responses to stimulation of the subthalamic locomotor region

Tony G. Waldrop, Mark C. Henderson, Gary A. Iwamoto, Jere H. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Recent studies have suggested that descending central command from an area in the diencephalon (subthalamic locomotor region - STLR) is involved in the control of ventilation, arterial pressure and heart rate during exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine if electrical activation of the STLR in anesthetized cats elicits changes in regional blood flow and vascular resistances similar to those evoked by exercise. Therefore, organ blood flows (radioactive microsphere technique), arterial pressure (AP), heart rate (HR), and respiratory output (quantified from phrenic nerve activity) were recorded during resting conditions and during STLR stimulation. Stimulation of the subthalamic locomotor region produced increases in AP, HR and respiratory output similar to those reported previously. These changes were accompanied by increased blood flow to the heart, diaphragm and limb skeletal muscles. A concomitant decrease occurred in blood flow to the kidneys. In addition, the vascular resistances of the intestines, gallbladder and stomach increased. These vascular and respiratory responses are similar to those occurring during static exercise in conscious cats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1986


  • Arterial blood pressure
  • Blood flow
  • Cat
  • Heart rate
  • Hypothalamus
  • Phrenic nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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