Importance of endogenous angiotensin II in the cardiovascular responses to sympathetic stimulation in conscious rabbits.
Pharmacological evidence indicates that angiotensin (Ang II) converting enzyme inhibitors attenuate cardiovascular responses to sympathetic stimulation. To investigate the physiological significance of this attenuation, the pressor and heart rate responses to bilateral carotid occlusion (BCO) were studied before and after administration of captopril and again during Ang II replacement in conscious, aortic nerve-sectioned rabbits with chronically implanted carotid occluders. In the control period, BCO produced increases (p less than 0.05) in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) of 37.3 +/- 3.0 mm Hg and 21.7 +/- 5.4 beats/min from baseline values of 79.1 +/- 2.5 mm Hg and 255.4 +/- 16.7 beats/min. Captopril (5 mg/kg i.v.) markedly reduced (p less than 0.05) both the pressor (10.2 +/- 2.6 mm Hg) and HR (5.0 +/- 4.0 beats/min) responses to BCO, in parallel with a decrease in plasma Ang II of 75%. Infusion of a subpressor dose of Ang II (5-25 ng/kg/min i.v.) increased plasma Ang II to precaptopril levels and fully restored (p less than 0.05) the pressor (33.0 +/- 5.7 mm Hg) and HR (19.8 +/- 7.7 beats/min) responses to BCO. In two additional series of experiments, the mechanism of the effects of captopril and Ang II were investigated. In the first series, cardiac baroreflex curves (pulse interval versus MAP) were generated by increasing or decreasing blood pressure with phenylephrine or nitroprusside (5-20 micrograms/kg/min i.v.). The slope of the linear region of the curve (2.9 msec/mm Hg) was not changed significantly by captopril treatment (3.1 msec/mm Hg) or Ang II replacement (3.2 msec/mm Hg), indicating that cardiac baroreflex sensitivity was not altered by blockade of the renin-angiotensin system. In the second series, the effect of captopril on the pressor response to exogenous norepinephrine (0.1-2.5 micrograms/kg/min i.v.) was tested. The response was reduced by less than 40%, indicating only a modest postsynaptic component to the action of captopril. These results provide physiological evidence for an important action of endogenous Ang II in facilitating the cardiovascular responses to sympathetic stimulation in conscious rabbits. This facilitation is not due to an action upon the baroreflex per se but results, at least in part, from a presynaptic action of Ang II.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association