Abstract An injection of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and the GABA agonist, muscimol, into the dorsal raphe reduced both heart rate and blood pressure in the urethane-anesthetized rat. Picrotoxinin (3.4 nmol) did not affect blood pressure and slightly reduced the heart rate when injected into the dorsal raphe, but it blocked the decrease in both cardiovascular responses produced by GABA. These decreases in heart rate and blood pressure most likely result from stimulation of a GABA A receptor, as the GABA B agonist, baclofen, appeared to elevate heart rate and blood pressure by a mechanism occurring outside the dorsal raphe area. The changes in blood pressure and heart rate induced by muscimol occurred whether or not respiration was supported. Finally, it can be inferred that these GABAergic actions on blood pressure and heart rate probably involve both an inhibition of central sympathetic outflow and an excitation of parasympathetic outflow, as the quaternary muscarinic blocker, atropine methyl nitrate, blocked the decrease in heart rate induced by muscimol, but not the decrease in blood pressure.