In anesthetized vagotomized cats with the chest opened and artificially ventilated, aortic blood pressure (AP) and external diameter (AD; ultrasound technique) were measured in the proximal third of the descending thoracic aorta. Slow sinusoidal oscillations (0.2-0.3 Hz in aortic volume were produced by a piston pump connected to a femoral artery. Diastolic pressure-diameter relationship (PDR) curves were obtained during control conditions and during stimulation of either the cut central end of the left inferior cardiac nerve (ICN) or the decentralized thoracic sympathetic chain (SC). In six cats with both carotid arteries occluded ICN stimulation reflexly shifted the PDR curves to lower diameters for any given pressure (mean deltaAD 3.2% at control AP). A smaller response to ICN stimulation was obtained in five cats with one patent carotid artery (mean deltaAD 2.3% at control AP). Stimulation of sympathetic efferents to the aorta (SC) caused similar responses in five animals (mean deltaAD 3.4% at control AP). This reflex control of the thoracic aorta may be involved in cardioaortic coupling and may influence the sensitivity of aortic mechanoreceptors.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Physiological Society