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Journal of Amino Acids
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 831759, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/831759
Review Article

Amino Acids That Centrally Influence Blood Pressure and Regional Blood Flow in Conscious Rats

Department of Neurophysiology, Graduate School Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Kasumi-cho 1-2-3, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, 734-8551, Japan

Received 17 January 2012; Revised 11 March 2012; Accepted 22 March 2012

Academic Editor: Hieronim Jakubowski

Copyright © 2012 Yumi Takemoto. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Functional roles of amino acids have increasingly become the focus of research. This paper summarizes amino acids that influence cardiovascular system via the brain of conscious rats. This paper firstly describes why amino acids are selected and outlines how the brain regulates blood pressure and regional blood flow. This section includes a concise history of amino acid neurotransmitters in cardiovascular research and summarizes brain areas where chemical stimulations produce blood pressure changes mainly in anesthetized animals. This is followed by comments about findings regarding several newly examined amino acids with intracisternal stimulation in conscious rats that produce changes in blood pressure. The same pressor or depressor response to central amino acid stimulations can be produced by distinct mechanisms at central and peripheral levels, which will be briefly explained. Thereafter, cardiovascular actions of some of amino acids at the mechanism level will be discussed based upon findings of pharmacological and regional blood flow measurements. Several examined amino acids in addition to the established neurotransmitter amino acids appear to differentially activate brain structures to produce changes in blood pressure and regional blood flows. They may have physiological roles in the healthy brain, but pathological roles in the brain with cerebral vascular diseases such as stroke where the blood-brain barrier is broken.