Response of vasopressin and norepinephrine to lower body negative pressure in humans

Steven Goldsmith, Gary S Francis, A. W. Cowley

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To examine the contributions of cardiopulmonary and sinoaortic baroreceptors to the nonosmotic release of arginine vasopressin (AVP) in normal humans, we subjected nine individuals without evidence of hypertension or heart disease to graded, lower body negative pressure (LBNP). We also studied the effects of this maneuver on sympathetic nervous system activity using plasma norepinephrine (NE) as an index. Heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP), pulse pressure (PP), and central venous pressure (CVP) were measured in the control state and during two consecutive levels of increasingly intense LBNP. At each stage blood was sampled for AVP and NE. AVP was analyzed by radioimmunoassay, NE by a radioenzymatic method. During the first level of LBNP, CVP decreased with no change in HR, MAP, or PP. NE increased from 147 ± 47 to 212 ± 53 (SD) pg/ml, P < 0.01, whereas AVP (5.0 ± 1.0 pg/ml) did not change. With increased suction CVP fell further, HR increased, and PP narrowed, but MAP did not change. NE further increased to 291 ± 58 pg/ml (P < 0.01), but AVP still did not change significantly. One subject became markedly hypotensive, and his AVP increased from 2.6 to 81 pg/ml. A fall in CVP that results in sympathetic activation presumably via cardiopulmonary receptors does not therefore increase AVP levels; a further fall in CVP that leads to modest unloading of the sinoaortic baroreceptor and further increased sympathetic activity also fails to stimulate AVP. Hypotension, however, is accompanied by a rapid and profound increase in circulating AVP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H970-H973
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1982


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