Cardiovascular reflexes mediated by sympathetic afferent fibers

Alberto Malliani, Massimo Pagani, Paolo Pizzinelli, Raffaello Furlan, Stefano Guzzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper the experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis that excitatory sympathetic reflexes may participate in the tonic control of the cardiovascular system is discussed. Positive feedback pressor sympathetic reflexes can be obtained with physiological distensions of the descending thoracic aorta in conscious dogs with all nerves intact in absence of any pain reaction. These excitatory reflexes interact with supraspinal regulatory mechanisms, inhibitory in nature. A massive excitation of cardiac sympathetic afferents, produced by intracoronary injections of bradykinin, also elicits a pressor reflex, without pain reactions. In the absence of anesthesia and recent surgery, the cardiovascular excitatory reflexes, subserved by sympathetic afferent fibers, can easily prevail. We suggest that negative and positive feedback mechanisms interact continuously to achieve the most adequate neural cardiovascular control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Autonomic Nervous System
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1983


  • cardiac pain
  • cardiovascular sympathetic afferent fibers
  • conscious dogs
  • pressor sympathetic reflexes
  • sympatho-sympathetic reflexes
  • tonic sympathetic afferent activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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