A positive feedback sympathetic pressor reflex during stretch of the thoracic aorta in conscious dogs.
The role of pressor sympathetic reflexes in circulatory control was investigated in conscious dogs. Animals were previously instrumented with a 6- to 8-cm rigid core cannula covered by an inflatable rubber cylinder in the thoracic aorta, a pressure catheter implanted in the aorta above the cannula, and a second catheter inserted into the aorta below the cannula through a femoral artery. Two piezoelectric crystals were positioned at opposing adventitial sites to measure aortic distension with ultrasound techniques. After recovery from surgery, the diameter of the aortic segment surrounding the cannula was increased by 9.6 +/- 0.4% from 16 +/- 1 mm by inflating the rubber cylinder, without obstructing blood flow. Mean aortic pressure rose 31 +/- 3% from 100 +/- 3 mm Hg and heart rate 20 +/- 3% from 91 +/- 3 beats/min (P less than 0.01). The pressor response was abolished by alpha-adrenergic blockade (phentolamine 1 mg/kg, iv). The heart rate response was reduced either by beta-blockade (propranolol 1 mg/kg, iv) or muscarinic blockade (atropine 0.2 mg/kg, iv) and abolished by their combination. During aortic stretch, the sensitivity of the baroreflex was reduced 57 +/- 7% from 18 +/- 2 msec/mm Hg (P less than 0.01). The pressor response was increased by 49 +/- 8% after bilateral carotid sinus nerve section and vagotomy. These excitatory reflex responses were obtained in absence of any pain reaction. Thus, in the conscious dog, aortic distension within physiological ranges induces a potent pressor sympathetic reflex with positive feedback characteristics. Such a pressor reflex not only occurs in the presence of functioning baroreflexes, but is also capable of reducing their sensitivity.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association