Sequence of excitation as a factor in sympathetic-parasympathetic interactions in the heart.
We determined the influence of differences in the time of initiation of sympathetic and vagal stimulation (both at 10 Hz) on the cardiac autonomic interactions in 16 open-chest anesthetized dogs. We always ended the concurrent sympathetic and vagal stimulations simultaneously. Sympathetic stimulation alone for 1 minute increased heart rate by 90 +/- 7 (mean +/- SEM) beats per minute, and vagal stimulation alone for 1 minute decreased heart rate by 67 +/- 5 beats per minute; i.e., the algebraic sum of these responses was an increase of 23 beats per minute. However, combined sympathetic and vagal stimulation for 1 minute actually decreased heart rate by 35 beats per minute; i.e., the vagal effects predominated. When vagal stimulation was initiated first, the chronotropic responses to combined stimulation were not significantly affected by the duration of antecedent vagal stimulation. However, when sympathetic stimulation was initiated first, the vagal predominance (disparity between the summated individual responses and the combined response) progressively diminished as we increased the duration of antecedent sympathetic stimulation. The vagal predominance diminished from a value of 67 +/- 21 beats per minute when the stimulations were initiated simultaneously to a value of 37 +/- 21 beats per minute when the duration of antecedent sympathetic stimulation was 10 minutes. Sympathetic stimulation releases not only norepinephrine but also neuropeptide Y, and this neuropeptide inhibits vagal neurotransmission. Our data suggest, therefore, that the longer the antecedent sympathetic stimulation, the greater the inhibition of vagal neurotransmission (presumably by the neuropeptide Y) and, therefore, the less pronounced the vagal predominance.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association