The relative contributions of a central neural oscillator and of the delay in α-adrenergic transmission within the baroreflex loop in the predominance of low-frequency (LF) cardiovascular variability during sympathetic activation in humans are unclear. We measured R-R interval (RR), muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), blood pressure (BP), and their variability in 10 normal subjects during sympathetic activation achieved by BP lowering with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and α-adrenergic blockade using phentolamine. SNP and phentolamine induced comparable reductions in BP (P > 0.25). Despite tachycardia and sympathetic activation with both SNP and phentolamine, LF variability in RR, MSNA, and BP increased during SNP and decreased during phentolamine (SNP: RR +20 ± 6%, MSNA +3 ± 5%, systolic BP +9 ± 6%, diastolic BP +7 ± 5%; phentolamine: RR -2 ± 7%, MSNA -34 ± 6%, systolic BP -16 ± 8%, diastolic BP -13 ± 4%, P < 0.05 except systolic BP, where P = 0.09). Thus LF variability is reduced when sympathetic activation is induced by α-adrenergic blockade. This suggests that α-adrenergic transmission within the baroreflex loop may contribute importantly to the predominance of LF cardiovascular variability associated with sympathetic excitation in humans.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|Issue number||2 50-2|
|State||Published - 2001|
- Sympathetic nervous system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)