Research Article| Volume 216, P17-24, January 2019

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Interaction between baroreflex and chemoreflex in the cardiorespiratory responses to stimulation of the carotid sinus/nerve in conscious rats

Published:December 03, 2018DOI:


      Electrical stimulation of the carotid baroreflex has been thoroughly investigated for treating drug-resistant hypertension in humans. However, a previous study from our laboratory, performed in conscious rats, has demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the carotid sinus/nerve (CS) activated both the carotid baroreflex as well as the carotid chemoreflex, resulting in hypotension. Additionally, we also demonstrated that the carotid chemoreceptor deactivation potentiated this hypotensive response. Therefore, to further investigate this carotid baroreflex/chemoreflex interaction, besides the hemodynamic responses, we evaluated the respiratory responses to the electrical stimulation of the CS in both intact (CONT) and carotid chemoreceptors deactivated (CHEMO-X) conscious rats. CONT rats showed increased ventilation in response to electrical stimulation of the CS as measured by the respiratory frequency (fR), tidal volume (VT) and minute ventilation (VE), suggesting a carotid chemoreflex activation. The carotid chemoreceptor deactivation abolished all respiratory responses to the electrical stimulation of the CS. Regarding the hemodynamic responses, the electrical stimulation of the CS caused hypotensive responses in CONT rats, which were potentiated by the carotid chemoreceptors deactivation. Heart rate (HR) responses did not differ between groups. In conclusion, the present study showed that the electrical stimulation of the CS, in conscious rats, activates both the carotid baroreflex and the carotid chemoreflex driving an increase in ventilation and a decrease in AP. These findings further contribute to our understanding of the electrical stimulation of CS.


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