Muscle mechanoreflex induces the pressor response by resetting the arterial baroreflex neural arc

Department of Cardiovascular Dynamics, National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Osaka 565-8565, Japan.
AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology (Impact Factor: 4.01). 05/2004; 286(4):H1382-8. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00801.2003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effects of the muscle mechanoreflex on the arterial baroreflex neural control have not previously been analyzed over the entire operating range of the arterial baroreflex. In anesthetized, vagotomized, and aortic-denervated rabbits (n = 8), we isolated carotid sinuses and changed intracarotid sinus pressure (CSP) from 40 to 160 mmHg in increments of 20 mmHg every minute while recording renal sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and arterial pressure (AP). Muscle mechanoreflex was induced by passive muscle stretch (5 kg of tension) of the hindlimb. Muscle stretch shifted the CSP-SNA relationship (neural arc) to a higher SNA, whereas it did not affect the SNA-AP relationship (peripheral arc). SNA was almost doubled [from 63 +/- 15 to 118 +/- 14 arbitrary units (au), P < 0.05] at the CSP level of 93 +/- 8 mmHg, and AP was increased approximately 50% by muscle stretch. When the baroreflex negative feedback loop was closed, muscle stretch increased SNA from 63 +/- 15 to 81 +/- 21 au (P < 0.05) and AP from 93 +/- 8 to 109 +/- 12 mmHg (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the muscle mechanoreflex resets the neural arc to a higher SNA, which moves the operating point towards a higher SNA and AP under baroreflex closed-loop conditions. Analysis of the baroreflex equilibrium diagram indicated that changes in the neural arc induced by the muscle mechanoreflex might compensate for pressure falls resulting from exercise-induced vasodilatation.

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