Autoregulation of the systemic circulation in conscious rats.
Autoregulation of blood flow in various organ systems is a well-documented phenomenon. However, the net effect of these regional autoregulatory responses on the systemic circulation has not been studied in conscious rats despite the now extensive use of rats in cardiovascular research. The ability of the systemic circulation to autoregulate cardiac output has been proposed to play an important role in the development of increased vascular resistance in volume-dependent forms of hypertension. To better understand these events, we characterized responses to acute increases and decreases in blood volume in conscious areflexic rats that were chronically instrumented with arterial and venous catheters and an electromagnetic flow probe around the ascending aorta. Neurohumoral blockade was achieved with chlorisondamine (10 mg/kg), methscopolamine (0.5 mg/kg), captopril (1.0 mg/kg), and d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)arginine vasopressin (10 micrograms/kg). Mean arterial pressure was restored to normal levels with a constant i.v. norepinephrine infusion, which resulted in normal values of cardiac output, total peripheral resistance, and blood gases. Blood volume expansion (0.9 ml i.v. blood infusion for 6 minutes) increased cardiac output 9 +/- 1% and mean arterial pressure 30 +/- 3% and caused a 22 +/- 2% increase in total peripheral resistance (n = 7). Blood volume contraction (6-minute withdrawal of 0.9 ml of blood) decreased cardiac output 12 +/- 1% and mean arterial pressure 26 +/- 4%, which resulted in a 16 +/- 4% decrease in total peripheral resistance (n = 8). The slopes of the pressure-flow relationships during volume expansion were 0.24 and 0.41 during volume contraction, as compared with a nonautoregulating system (slope = 1) and a completely autoregulating system (slope = 0).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association