Influence of vasopressin and angiotensin on baroreflexes in the dog

A. W. Cowley, D. Merrill, J. Osborn, B. J. Barber

54 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular responses to step-changes of carotid sinus pressure were evaluated at normal and elevated levels of plasma arginine vasopressin in anesthetized neurohypophysectomized dogs (n = 12). Arginine vasopressin influenced autonomic function in two ways: first, maximum carotid reflex gain increased; second, cardiac output was decreased. The enhancement of reflex strength was observed only in response to decreases of intrasinus pressure below the equilibrium point (pressures of between 60 and 105 mm Hg). Aortic pressure rose twice as high for a given decrease of intrasinus pressure, elevations of total peripheral resistance responses were triple those observed at normal plasma arginine vasopressin. In this way, arginine vasopressin more than doubled the ability of the carotid reflexes to return a drop in arterial pressure to normal. Arginine vasopressin enhancement of reflex gain was not observed with elevations of intrasinus pressures above the equilibrium point. Elevation of aortic pressure expected from the vasoconstrictor actions of infused arginine vasopressin were buffered by associated reductions in cardiac output. Vagally mediated bradycardia was consistently observed with elevated arginine vasopressin, but the reflex response of heart rate to step-changes of intrasinus pressure was unchanged. Time control studies in five neurohypophysectomized dogs indicated no significant change in carotid reflex response over the 3- to 4-hour protocol. Comparison of reflex responses in anephric dogs (n = 8) at low and elevated levels of angiotensin II indicated that this vasoactive peptide did not significantly alter reflex responsiveness. We conclude that arginine vasopressin enhances the ability of the carotid reflexes to normalize decreases of arterial pressure, but buffers a rise in pressure from its own vasoactive properties by initiating a fall of cardiac output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-184
Number of pages22
JournalCirculation research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984


Cite this

Cowley, A. W., Merrill, D., Osborn, J., & Barber, B. J. (1984). Influence of vasopressin and angiotensin on baroreflexes in the dog. Circulation research, 54(2), 163-184.