Baroreflex control of renal sympathetic nerve activity during air-jet stress in rats.Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Jan; 292(1):R362-7.AJ
The effects of acute emotional stress on the sympathetic component of the arterial baroreceptor reflex have not yet been described in conscious animals and humans. Arterial pressure (AP) and renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) were simultaneously recorded in 11 conscious rats before and during exposure to a mild environmental stressor (jet of air). Baroreflex function curves relating AP and RSNA were constructed by fitting a sigmoid function to RSNA and AP measured during sequential nitroprusside and phenylephrine administrations. Stress increased mean AP from 112 +/- 2 to 124 +/- 2 mmHg, heart rate from 381 +/- 10 to 438 +/- 18 beats/min, and RSNA from 0.80 +/- 0.14 to 1.49 +/- 0.23 microV. The RSNA-AP relationship was shifted toward higher AP values, and its maximum gain was significantly (P < 0.01) increased from 9.0 +/- 1.3 to 16.2 +/- 2.1 normalized units (NU)/mmHg. The latter effect was secondary to an increase (P < 0.01) in the range of the RSNA variation from 285 +/- 33 to 619 +/- 59 NU. In addition, the operating range of the reflex was increased (P < 0.01) from 34 +/- 2 to 41 +/- 3 mmHg. The present study indicates that in rats, the baroreflex control of RSNA is sensitized and operates over a larger range during emotional stress, which suggests that renal vascular tone, and possibly AP, are very efficiently controlled by the sympathetic nervous system under this condition.