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Area postrema

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Brain: Area postrema
Rhomboid fossa. (Area postrema labeled at bottom center.)
Latin '
Gray's subject #187 800
Part of
BrainInfo/UW hier-769
MeSH A08.

The Area postrema is a part of the brain. The lower end of the ala cinerea is crossed by a narrow translucent ridge, the funiculus separans, and between this funiculus and the clava, is a small tongue-shaped area, the area postrema.

The Area postrema, one of the circumventricular organs, detects toxins in the blood and acts as a vomit inducing center(Carpenter, 1990) . It connects to the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract and other autonomic control centres in the brainstem controllling blood pressure and heart rate (Ferguson and Marcus, 1988; Chan and Sawchenko, 1994), food and water intake (Edwards and Ritter, 1981), conditioned taste aversion (Gallo et al., 1988), and the secretion of neuroendocrine hormones (Iovino et al., 1988).

It lacks a blood-brain barrier and this also facilitates its regulation of the autonomic functions,


  • Carpenter DO (1990) Neural mechanisms of emesis. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 68:230-236
  • Chan RK, Sawchenko PE (1994) Spatially and temporally differentiated patterns of c-fos expression in brainstem catecholaminergic cell groups induced by cardiovascular challenges in the rat. J Comp Neurol 348:433-460
  • Edwards GL, Ritter RC (1981) Ablation of the area postrema causes exaggerated consumption of preferred foods in the rat. Brain Res 216:265-276
  • Ferguson AV, Marcus P (1988) Area postrema stimulation induced cardiovascular changes in the rat. Am J Physiol 255:R855-R860.
  • Gallo M, Arnedo M, Aguero A, Puerto A (1988) Electrical intracerebral stimulation of the area postrema on taste aversion learning. Behav Brain Res 30:289-296
  • Iovino M, Papa M, Monteleone P, Steardo L (1988) Neuroanatomical and biochemical evidence for the involvement of the area postrema in the regulation of vasopressin release in rats. Brain Res 447:178-182

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

de:Area postrema
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