Modifications of the Aortic and Vagal Depressor Reflexes by Hypercapnia in the Rabbit
Changes in muscle and renal vascular resistances when the traffic in aortic or vagal nerves was interrupted were compared during normocapnia and hypercapnia in rabbits. The rabbits were anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital, paralyzed, and artificially ventilated; the sinus nerves were cut. A hind limb and a kidney were perfused at constant flow with autologous blood. With the vagi cut or cooled, blocking the aortic nerves by cooling caused a 49% and a 28% increase in limb and kidney perfusion pressures, respectively, during normocapnia (end-tidal CO2 3-4%) and a 56% and a 69% increase during hypercapnia (end-tidal CO2 8-10%). With the aortic nerves cut or cooled, vagal cold block increased the limb and kidney perfusion pressures 10% and 15%, respectively, during normocapnia and 17% and 61%, respectively, during hypercapnia. These responses were attenuated, especially in the kidney, when one of these pairs of nerves was intact (aortic nerve or vagus) and the other pair was blocked. Thus, hypercapnia augmented the vasodepressor reflexes from the aortic arch and the cardiopulmonary area. The effects of this phenomenon were greater on the renal vascular bed than they were on the muscle vascular bed.
- Accepted May 24, 1973.
- © 1973 American Heart Association, Inc.