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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lack of protection against ouabain cardiotoxicity after chronic ablation of the area postrema in cats.

We evaluated the hypothesis that the area postrema facilitates the cardiac arrhythmias caused by toxic doses of digitalis. The arrhythmic dose of ouabain was determined in four cats with chronic selective destruction of the area postrema, and in a control group of two sham-operated cats and three normal unoperated cats. The cats were anesthetized with pentobarbital, and polygraph records were made of end-tidal Pco2, arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and the electrocardiogram (lead II and a bipolar lead in the superior vena cava). The vagosympathetic trunks were cut bilaterally, and 1 h later an i.v. infusion of [3H]ouabain was begun at the rate of 1.71 nmol/kg/min. This was continued until ventricular tachycardia appeared, as determined electrocardiographically. The total ouabain dosage required for ventricular tachycardia was recorded, and the ouabain concentrations in the arterial plasma and in the myocardium were determined by liquid scintillation counting. No statistically significant difference was found between the chronically postremectomized cats and the controls in any of these measures of ouabain cardiotoxicity. These results indicate that the area postrema plays no important role in the cardiotoxic action of ouabain in pentobarbital-anesthetized, vagotomized cats.[1]


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