New technique to completely isolate carotid sinus baroreceptor regions in rats

A. A. Shoukas, C. A. Callahan, J. M. Lash, E. B. Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We developed a method by which we can completely isolate the carotid sinus baroreceptor regions in the rat. The carotid sinus baroreceptor region is exposed and, with the use of extra-fine forceps, a human hair is placed around and tied at the root of the bifurcation. This procedure occludes the external carotid artery and blood flow to the carotid body. An injector is then attached to a catheter in the common carotid artery. We introduce a cylindrical rubber plug into either the palentine or internal carotid artery. A second plug is introduced to occlude the other artery. In six of the eight rats studied, these procedures completely isolated the carotid sinus region. In those cases where a small leak persisted at a carotid sinus pressure of 180 mmHg, we introduced a small particle of the animal's own previously clotted blood. Carotid sinus pressure was either randomly changed between 40 and 180 mmHg in 20-mmHg increments or in sequential 20-mmHg steps from 40 to 180 mmHg while measuring the animal's pulsatile and mean blood pressures. Arterial pressure-carotid sinus pressure relationship indicates that there is a highly sigmoidal relationship between the two pressures. The peak gain of the carotid sinus reflex system had a range from 1.5 to 4.0 and a mean value of 2.07 ± 0.08. Our data indicate that the rat exhibits a significant carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex response. This technique combined with other techniques will allow for the study of neural control of cardiovascular function in the rat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H300-H303
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 29-1
StatePublished - 1991


  • Arterial pressure control
  • Carotid sinus reflex
  • Reflex gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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