The study was performed in order to determine whether a local sympathetic venoarteriolar "reflex" is present in the dog hindleg. Femoral artery blood flow was measured by an electromagnetic flowmeter probe, and blood flow in the thigh muscle and subcutaneous tissue distally in the paw was measured by the local 133Xe washout technique. Twenty experiments were carried out in seven dogs unilaterally sympathectomized 2-4 weeks previously. Resting vascular tone did not differ in the sympathectomized and nonsympathectomized legs. In the control leg, venous pressure elevation caused a decrease in femoral blood flow of 49% corresponding to an increase in vascular resistance of 58%. In muscle and subcutaneous tissue vascular resistance increased by 81% and 35%, respectively. In the denervated leg, venous stasis caused no change in total vascular resistance. In muscle the vascular resistance increased by only 24%. In subcutaneous tissue, vascular resistance decreased by 12%. The effect of acute lumbar sympathectomy was studied in another group of seven dogs. Operation caused an immediate decrease in vascular resistance of 40%. The increase in vascular resistance during venous stasis in the total leg, as well as in muscle and subcutaneous tissue, was not affected. However, acute lumbar sympathectomy combined with injection of phenoxybenzamine into the femoral artery almost abolished the vasoconstriction induced by venous stasis. In muscle, the increase in vascular resistance was still present, but considerably attenuated. In subcutaneous tissue, the normal response was completely blocked. Finally, local suction induced vasoconstriction in an adjoining area not subjected to changes in vascular transmural pressure, an effect that could be blocked by local neural blockade at the site of suction. The results strongly suggest that a local sympathetic veno-arteriolar (axon) "reflex" is present in muscle and subcutaneous tissue in the dog hindleg.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association