Mode of neural control mediating rat tail vasodilation during heating

D. S. O'Leary, J. M. Johnson, W. F. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to delineate the mode of efferent neural control mediating rat tail vasodilation during body heating. Tail blood flow (venous occlusion plethysmography), tail skin temperature over the ventral vascular bundle, and arterial pressure were measured in Sprague-Dawley rats anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium (45 mg/kg). Three protocols were followed: anesthesia of the lumbar sympathetic chain, bilateral lumbar sympathectomy, and sympathetic nerve stimulation during varying degrees of α-adrenergic receptor blockade. Mean tail blood flow and tail vascular conductance (TVC) during body heating were 40.3±8.7 ml·100 ml-1·min-1 and 39.2±9.2 ml·100 ml-1·min-1·100 mmHg-1, respectively. Interruption of sympathetic nerve activity by sympathetic nerve anesthetization or sympathectomy during heat stress caused a nonsignificant increase in TVC to 112.7±1.8 and 121.12±6.3%, respectively, of the values achieved with body heating. Sympathectomy performed in normothermic animals that had recovered from prior heating caused an increase in TVC to 128.4±14.0% of the levels achieved during the previous heating period. In addition, sympathetic nerve stimulation after complete α-adrenergic receptor blockade failed to produce a vasodilation [control TVC = 10.2±3.9 vs. TVC during nerve stimulation = 10.4±3.9 (P>0.05)]. It is concluded that the increase in TVC during body heating occurs solely via a reduction in vasoconstrictor nerve activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1533-1538
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mode of neural control mediating rat tail vasodilation during heating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this