Effects of propranolol on reflex vascular responses to orthostatic stress in humans. Role of ventricular baroreceptors.
To evaluate the role of ventricular baroreceptors in humans, we studied the effects of propranolol on reflex vasoconstrictor responses to simulated orthostatic stress. We measured forearm vascular resistance in 10 normal males in the control state and during lower body negative pressure (LBNP) at -10 and -40 mm Hg before and after propranolol (0.1 mg/kg i.v.). Baseline forearm vascular resistance showed no significant change: 23.9 +/- 3.4 U (+/- SEM) before vs 28.0 +/- 0.5 U after propranolol. Reflex increases in forearm vascular resistance during LBNP at -10 and -40 mm Hg were 5.2 +/- 1.2 and 21.2 +/- 6.6 U before and 3.4 +/- 1.2 and 10.6 +/- 2.2 U, respectively, after propranolol. Thus, propranolol significantly (p less than 0.05) reduced responses to LBNP at -40 mm Hg. In contrast to the effects with LBNP, propranolol did not attenuate increases in forearm vascular resistance during the cold pressor test and handgrip, thus excluding a nonspecific depression of reflexes. We also studied the effects of propranolol on carotid baroreflex-mediated vasoconstrictor responses to neck pressure at 15 and 30 mm Hg. Propranolol had no significant effect on the vasoconstrictor responses to neck pressure. In conclusion, propranolol selectively attenuates vasoconstrictor responses to LBNP. We suggest that this results from a propranolol-induced decrease in the activity of cardiac ventricular baroreceptors. The results support the view that ventricular baroreceptors play an important role in reflex adjustments to orthostatic stress in humans.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association