The anti-malarial drug Mefloquine disrupts central autonomic and respiratory control in the working heart brainstem preparation of the rat
AuthorLall, VK; Dutschmann, M; Deuchars, J; Deuchars, SA
Source TitleJournal of Biomedical Science
University of Melbourne Author/sDutschmann, Mathias
AffiliationFlorey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLall, V. K., Dutschmann, M., Deuchars, J. & Deuchars, S. A. (2012). The anti-malarial drug Mefloquine disrupts central autonomic and respiratory control in the working heart brainstem preparation of the rat. JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE, 19 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/1423-0127-19-103.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug that can have neurological side effects. This study examines how mefloquine (MF) influences central nervous control of autonomic and respiratory systems using the arterially perfused working heart brainstem preparation (WHBP) of the rat. Recordings of nerve activity were made from the thoracic sympathetic chain and phrenic nerve, while heart rate (HR) and perfusion pressure were also monitored in the arterially perfused, decerebrate, rat WHBP. MF was added to the perfusate at 1 μM to examine its effects on baseline parameters as well as baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflexes. RESULTS: MF caused a significant, atropine resistant, bradycardia and increased phrenic nerve discharge frequency. Chemoreceptor mediated sympathoexcitation (elicited by addition of 0.1 ml of 0.03% sodium cyanide to the aortic cannula) was significantly attenuated by the application of MF to the perfusate. Furthermore MF significantly decreased rate of return to resting HR following chemoreceptor induced bradycardia. An increase in respiratory frequency and attenuated respiratory-related sympathetic nerve discharge during chemoreceptor stimulation was also elicited with MF compared to control. However, MF did not significantly alter baroreceptor reflex sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: These studies indicate that in the WHBP, MF causes profound alterations in autonomic and respiratory control. The possibility that these effects may be mediated through actions on connexin 36 containing gap junctions in central neurones controlling sympathetic nervous outflow is discussed.
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