Hemodynamic effects of vasopressin compared with angiotensin II in conscious rats

J. W. Osborn, M. M. Skelton, A. W. Cowley

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The mechanisms whereby arginine vasopressin influences hemodynamic and autonomic function were investigated in conscious rats. In normal rats, 60-min intravenous infusions produced dose-related increases of arterial pressure and total peripheral resistance with marked decreases of both heart rate and cardiac output. Cholinergic blockade with methscopolamine attenuated the bradycardia at higher doses of vasopressin, whereby the fall of cardiac output was not affected. β-Adrenergic blockade with atenolol attenuated the fall of heart rate seen with lower doses of vasopressin but did not prevent the fall of cardiac output. Ganglionic blockade with methscopolamine and hexamethonium resulted in nearly a 60-fold enhancement of vasopressin pressor sensitivity. This was related to a greater rise of peripheral resistance, since the fall of cardiac output was not altered compared with normal rats. Hemodynamic responses to angiotensin II were determined in other groups of conscious, normal rats and rats with ganglionic blockade. Peripheral resistance increased in the normal rats, whereas the related decreases in cardiac output and heart rate were only 30% of the responses seen with equipressor doses of vasopressin. Ganglionic blockade increased pressor activity only two- to eightfold compared with the 60-fold incease observed with vasopressin. We conclude that vasopressin 1) is a more potent vasoconstrictor than angiotensin II, 2) decreases cardiac output independent of neural mechanisms, and 3) results in withdrawal of sympathetic vascular tone to buffer rises of arterial pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H628-H637
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 (21/3)
StatePublished - 1987


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