Leptin in nucleus of the solitary tract alters the cardiovascular responses to aortic baroreceptor activation.Peptides. 2013 Jun; 44:1-7.P
Recent data suggests that neurons expressing the long form of the leptin receptor form at least two distinct groups within the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS): a group within the lateral NTS (Slt) and one within the medial (Sm) and gelantinosa (Sg) NTS. Discrete injections of leptin into Sm and Sg, a region that receives chemoreceptor input, elicit increases in arterial pressure (AP) and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA). However, the effect of microinjections of leptin into Slt, a region that receives baroreceptor input is unknown. Experiments were done in the urethane-chloralose anesthetized, paralyzed and artificially ventilated Wistar or Zucker obese rat to determine leptin's effect in Slt on heart rate (HR), AP and RSNA during electrical stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve (ADN). Depressor sites within Slt were first identified by the microinjection of l-glutamate (Glu; 0.25M; 10nl) followed by leptin microinjections. In the Wistar rat leptin microinjection (50ng; 20nl) into depressor sites within the lateral Slt elicited increases in HR and RSNA, but no changes in AP. Additionally, leptin injections into Slt prior to Glu injections at the same site or to stimulation of the ADN were found to attenuate the decreases in HR, AP and RSNA to both the Glu injection and ADN stimulation. In Zucker obese rats, leptin injections into NTS depressor sites did not elicit cardiovascular responses, nor altered the cardiovascular responses elicited by stimulation of ADN. Those data suggest that leptin acts at the level of NTS to alter the activity of neurons that mediate the cardiovascular responses to activation of the aortic baroreceptor reflex.