Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biology


Justin Brown

Corey Cleland

Norm Garrison


Serotonergic neurons of the raphe pallidus area of the brainstem are involved in the cardiovascular responses to stress. However, the manner in which they mediate these responses is not well understood and severe abnormalities in this system have been associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In the current study, microinjections of muscimol and 8-OH-DPAT (GABAA and 5HT1A receptor agonists, respectively) into the raphe pallidus abolished the increase in mean arterial pressure and the tachycardiac responses following air jet, handing, and restraint stress that were observed following microinjections of artificial cerebrospinal fluid. The stress responses following muscimol microinjections suggest that this region of the brainstem was responsible for mediating cardiovascular responses to stress. The result of DPAT microinjections suggests that within this region of the brainstem, the serotonin system is responsible for these responses.

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