The spinal cord ventral root: an afferent pathway of the hind‐limb pressor reflex in cats.

J. C. Longhurst, J. H. Mitchell, M. B. Moore

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1 Scopus citations


1. In anaesthetized cats the sciatic nerve was cut and the central end was stimulated at a high frequency and voltage. This caused an increase in arterial blood pressure and a rise in heart rate. The pressure response was diminished by dorsal root section but not completely eliminated until ventral root section (L4‐S3). The tachycardia response was abolished by dorsal root section alone. 2. In other cats capsaicin was injected intra‐arterially into the hind limb, causing elevations in both blood pressure and heart rate. Similar to the sciatic nerve stimulation experiments, the pressor response was principally reduced by dorsal root section but was further significantly decreased by ventral root section (L1‐S3). The rise in heart rate was prevented by dorsal root section alone. 3. It is concluded that, in cats, the afferent pathway of the pressor response to sciatic nerve stimulation and to hind‐limb capsaicin injection are conducted principally in the dorsal roots but also to a small extent in the ventral roots of the spinal cord. Although the tachycardia response appears to be conducted only through the dorsal roots, it is possible that at lower resting heart rates and by stimulation of a large population of the unmyelinated skeletal muscle afferents, the ventral root is a functional pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-476
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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