Central neuropharmacology of autonomic regulation


Prof Andrew G. Ramage
Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Pharmacology Tutor to Medical Students
Tel: 020 7679 0125
Email: a.ramage@ucl.ac.uk

Lab Members:

  • Dr Christopher Moore
  • Patrick S Hosford
  • Dr Julian Millar (Queen Mary, University of London)

Andrew Ramage received his BSc in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University Southampton and later a M.Phil. He subsequently completed his PhD at the University of Manchester. He then took up a lectureship (1976) at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine. In 2007 he moved from the Royal Free Campus to the Pharmacology Department (since 2009 the Research Department of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) in the Medical Sciences Building at the Bloomsbury Campus. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the Universidade Federal do Espìrito Santo, Vitoria, Espìrito Santo, Brasil and was awarded in 2003 a D.Sc. from Manchester University. He was also the first senior editor in neuropharmacology for the British Journal of Pharmacology and is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society. In 2005 he was the AstraZeneca/British Pharmacological Society Indian lecturer and 2009 he gave the MSD Lecture at the Winter Meeting of British Pharmacological Society Winter.

Research activity in the laboratory has led to recognition of the importance of the role of 5‑HT receptors and thus 5-HT‑containing neurones in central autonomic regulation. 5-HT was identified as a major central transmitter involved in the control of parasympathetic outflow to the heart, airways and bladder via activation of 5-HT1A and 5‑HT7 receptors. In addition, 5-HT3 receptors were identified as also playing a critical role in the control of afferent input into the nucleus tractus solitarius involving glutamate release. Furthermore the control of sympathetic outflow was demonstrated to involve central 5-HT2 receptors which cause sympathoexcitation. In addition, these receptors, via a central angiotensinergic pathway, control the release of vasopressin and this discovery led to the suggestion that this pathway plays an important role in blood volume regulation and this circuit is also involved in the development of DOCA-salt hypertension in rats. At present the following research interests are being pursued by using in vivo models.

  • The role of 5-HT7 receptors in cardiovascular afferent integration and in stress hypertension.
  • Is 5-HT release in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) by vagal afferent activation? 5‑HT overflow in the NTS is being detected by fast-cyclic voltammetry (with the help of the inventor of this method, Dr. Julian Millar).

Determining how central 5-HT-containing neurones regulate the micturition centre.

Full reference list with PDF links

Selected References:

  • Oskutyte, D, Jordan, D. & Ramage, A.G. (2009). Evidence that 5‑hydroxytryptamine7 receptors play a role in the mediation of afferent transmission within the NTS in anaesthetised rats. Br. J. Pharmacol., 158, 1387–1394
  • Ramage, A.G. & Villalón. C.B. (2008). 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) and cardiovascular regulation. TiPS 29, 472-481
  • Ramage, A.G. (2006). The role of central 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) receptors in the control of micturition. Br. J. Pharmacol., 147, S120-S131
  • Ramage, A.G. (2001). Central cardiovascular regulation and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors. Brain Res. Bull., 56 (5) 425-439