Response of type B atrial vagal receptors to changes in wall tension during atrial filling

G. Recordati, F. Lombardi, V. S. Bishop, A. Malliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In anesthetized curarized cats with their chests open, the authors recorded the activity of type B right atrial vagal stretch receptors, right atrial pressure, and instantaneous dimensional changes of the right atrium. The nervous activity was analyzed during alterations in atrial dynamics produced by acute volume loading of the right atrium under control conditions and during sympathetic and vagal stimulations. The results demonstrated that the mean frequency of discharge in the burst was dependent on the absolute tension and the rate of change in tension developed in atrial muscles during filling. The responses of different receptors to changes in atrial dynamics were qualitatively similar but characteristic for each receptor studied. In some experiments nervous activity was recorded after the cats had been killed: static and dynamic changes in atrial tension were then produced by injecting blood into the right atrium. Under these conditions dynamic stimuli always activated the receptors at tensions below the threshold for static stimuli. During dynamic stimuli the instantaneous firing rate was always higher than it was during static stimuli applied at the same level of tension. This study indicates that the nervous activity of type B atrial vagal receptors is closely dependent on static and dynamic changes in atrial wall tension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-691
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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