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Inhibitory mechanisms within the nucleus of the solitary tract

This project aims to determine the synaptic mechanisms underlying reflex strength and flexibility.

Aims

Specifically, this project aims to determine how inhibitory synaptic gating mechanisms affect synaptic transmission between viscerosensory afferents and NTS neurons utilizing a channelrhodopsin 2 expressing mouse line.

The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is the first central site to receive viscerosensory afferent input and is involved in mediating autonomic reflexes (e.g. baroreflex). Autonomic reflexes are highly flexible and dynamic. For example during exercise, where both blood pressure and heart rate both remain high over sustained periods, the baroreflex seemingly decoupled during this period.

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