Central and reflex regulation of sympathetic vasoconstrictor activity to limb muscles during desynchronized sleep in the cat

G. Baccelli, R. Albertini, G. Mancia, A. Zanchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Desynchronized sleep (DS) in the cat is accompanied by a long lasting (tonic) constriction of muscle blood vessels (conductance decrease 5-30%), on which short lasting (phasic) vasoconstrictor waves that occur simultaneously with bursts of rapid eye movements and body twitches are superimposed. Both the tonic and the phasic vasoconstrictions are abolished after regional sympathectomy (conductance increase 5-10%). Tonic vasoconstriction can also be prevented by hind limb deafferentation (bilateral section of the dorsal roots from L5 down) or by transection of the spinal cord at L4 in such a way as to separate sympathetic innervation from afferent input from the hind limbs. The procedures do not affect the phasic vasoconstrictions. After lumbar sympathectomy or hind limb deafferentation, iliac blood flow decreases during the tonic fall in blood pressure associated with DS by exactly the amount (1-2 ml/min) predicted by pressure flow relationships observed during artificial lowering of iliac blood pressure. The authors conclude that tonic and phasic vasoconstrictions are both due to sympathetic discharges. However, phasic sympathetic discharges are driven by central descending influences, and tonic sympathetic vasoconstriction depends on reflex influences originating from the limbs themselves. When tonic sympathetic vasoconstriction is prevented, muscle blood vessels exhibit autoregulatory behavior during DS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-635
Number of pages11
JournalCirculation Research
Volume35
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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