Baroreflex responses to limb venous distension in humans

Takuto Hamaoka, Urs A. Leuenberger, Cheryl Blaha, Jonathan Carter Luck, Lawrence I. Sinoway, Jian Cui

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The venous distension reflex (VDR) is a pressor response evoked by peripheral venous distension and accompanied by increased muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA). The effects of venous distension on the baroreflex, an important modulator of blood pressure (BP), have not been examined. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the VDR on baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). We hypothesized that the VDR will increase the sympathetic BRS (SBRS). Beat-by-beat heart rate (HR), BP, and MSNA were recorded in 16 female and 19 male young healthy subjects. To induce venous distension, normal saline equivalent to 5% of the forearm volume was infused into the veins of the occluded forearm. SBRS was assessed from the relationship between diastolic BP and MSNA during spontaneous BP variations. Cardiovagal BRS (CBRS) was assessed with the sequence technique. Venous distension evoked significant increases in BP and MSNA. Compared with baseline, during the maximal VDR response period, SBRS was significantly increased (-3.1 ± 1.5 to -4.5 ± 1.6 bursts·100 heartbeats-1·mmHg-1, P < 0.01) and CBRS was significantly decreased (16.6 ± 5.4 to 13.8 ± 6.1 ms·mmHg-1, P < 0.01). No sex differences were observed in the effect of the VDR on SBRS or CBRS. These results indicate that in addition to its pressor effect, the VDR altered both SBRS and CBRS. We speculate that these changes in baroreflex function contribute to the modulation of MSNA and BP during limb venous distension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R267-R276
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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