The role of thermoregulatory background in the baroreceptor reflex control of the tail circulation was investigated 1) in anesthetized rats with a constant flow technique and 2) in conscious rats by measuring tail blood flow (venous occlusion plethysmography). In series I, during normothermia, systemic intravenous phenylephrine infusion increased mean arterial pressure (MAP) by 61.0 ± 3.6 mmHg and induced a reflex decrease in tail perfusion pressure (TPP) from 105.0 ± 6.3 to 84.2 ± 4.4 mmHg (P < 0.005). Hyperthermia decreased TPP to 66.5 ± 5.1 mmHg (P < 0.001) and abolished the TPP response to increased MAP (P > 0.05). Increases in MAP via systemic infusion of whole blood caused reductions in TPP during normothermia but failed to reduce TPP further during hyperthermia. Graded decreases in MAP during both normothermia and hyperthermia caused tail vasoconstriction. The increase in TPP was greater (P < 0.025) during hyperthermia. In series II, conscious animals showed similar responses to hemorrhage. Graded decreases in MAP produced graded decreases in tail vascular conductance (TVC, ml · 100 ml-1 · min-1 · 100 mmHg-1). The slope of the TVC-MAP relationship averaged 0.011 ± 0.003 TVC U/mmHg during normothermia and was markedly steeper (P < 0.01) during hyperthermia (1.99 ± 0.39 TVC U/mmHg). Thus the participation of the cutaneous vasculature of the rat in baroreceptor reflexes depends on thermal status, probably through the level of background sympathetic vasoconstrictor nerve activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)