Autonomic control of the cardiovascular system in the cat during hypoxemia

Robert S. Fitzgerald, Gholam Abbas Dehghani, Samara Kiihl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to determine the roles played by the autonomic interoreceptors, the carotid bodies (cbs) and the aortic bodies (abs) in anesthetized, paralyzed, artificially ventilated cats' response to systemic hypoxemia. Four 15min challenges stimulated each of 15 animals: (1) hypoxic hypoxia (10%O2 in N2; HH) in the intact (int) cat where both abs and cbs sent neural traffic to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS); (2) carbon monoxide hypoxia (30%O2 in N2 with the addition of CO; COH) in the intact cat where only the abs sent neural traffic to the NTS; (3) HH in the cat after transection of both aortic depressor nerves, resecting the aortic bodies (HHabr), where only the cbs sent neural traffic to the NTS; (4) COH to the abr cat where neither abs nor cbs sent neural traffic to the NTS. Cardiac output (C.O.), contractility (dP/dtMAX), systolic/diastolic pressures, aortic blood pressure, total peripheral resistance, pulmonary arterial pressure, and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) were measured. When both cbs and abs were active the maximum increases were observed except for PVR which decreased. Some variables showed the cbs to have a greater effect than the abs. The abs proved to be important during some challenges for maintaining blood pressure. The data support the critically important role for the chemoreceptor-sympathetic nervous system connection during hypoxemia for maintaining viable homeostasis, with some differences between the cbs and the abs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Aortic bodies
  • Cardiovascular responses
  • Carotid bodies
  • Hypoxemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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