Rapid resetting of aortic baroreceptors in vitro

P. A. Munch, M. C. Andresen, A. M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Pressure response characteristics of arterial baroreceptors (BR) were shown recently to be reset following a 15- to 20-min change in mean arterial pressure (MAP); the curves shifted in the direction of the MAP change. To characterize this rapid BR resetting process more precisely than in vitro studies allow, we utilized an in vitro aortic arch-aortic nerve preparation from Wistar-Kyoto rats. Pressure ramps were used to determine the discharge response curves of single BRs following exposure to precisely controlled conditioning pressures. Rapid resetting occurred in all BRs and followed an exponential time course with a 3- to 5-min time constant. The reset curves were stable for 1 h and were completely reversible. The curves were shifted along the pressure axis in a parallel manner, i.e., pressure threshold (P(th)) changed but slope and mean asymptotic discharge were unaltered. In experiments lasting as long as 7 h in which more than two MAP steps were possible, in vitro rapid resetting was a very consistent and reproducible process. Quantitatively, the extent of resetting (ΔP(th)/ΔMAP) averaged 0.33 over an MAP range of 40-160 mmHg. In vitro resetting therefore appears very similar to that observed in vivo, suggesting that the conditioning pressure is the primary, perhaps the sole, determinant of resetting. Resetting occurred at subthreshold MAPs, demonstrating action potentials are not a prerequisite. Efferent neural or hormonal influences are also not required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H672-H680
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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