Respiratory and Cardiovascular Responses to Hypoxia, Hyperoxia and Perfusion of the Carotid Arteries in Cholesterol-Fed Rabbit

  • B. Flemming
  • T. Encke
  • D. Roloff
  • E. Seeliger
  • Th. Wronski


In previous experiments in rabbits with an experimental atherosclerosis we have observed that the cardiovascular basic values showed only small differences between the normal and cholesterol-fed rabbits, whereas the engagement of the cardiovascular effector mechanism in realizing the regulatory responses after stimulation of the carotid baroreceptors has changed.1 Based on indirect studies, it is generally considered that a decrease in the sensitivity of arterial baroreceptors occurs with aging and hypertension. It has been suggested that atherosclerotic changes in the carotid sinus are one factor contributing to the reduced reflex sensitivity2. In our experiments the external perfusion system influenced the carotid baroreceptors as well as the carotid body chemoreceptors. From this we suggested that the carotid bodies are involved in the reflex cardiovascular function by alteration of the perfusion pressure of the isolated carotid arteries1. In this study we tested the hypothesis that the carotid bodies should be affected in a similar way to those of other organs during the development of the experimental atherosclerosis, an increased level of spontaneous chemoreceptor activity engendered by stagnant hypoxia through a reduction in their blood flow or by increases of the diffusion barrier. To evaluate the reflex functions of the carotid bodies in experimental atheromatosis, the respiratory responses to hyperoxia and hypoxia were compared with those obtained in the normal group of conscious animals. The cardiovascular responses to hyperoxia and/or hypoxia and to the changes of the perfusion of the isolated carotid sinus from arterial blood to venous blood under constant perfusion pressure were recorded under conditions of anesthesia in both groups of animals.


Carotid Body Carotid Sinus Stagnant Hypoxia Experimental Atherosclerosis Carotid Baroreceptor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Flemming
    • 1
  • T. Encke
    • 1
  • D. Roloff
    • 1
  • E. Seeliger
    • 1
  • Th. Wronski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhysiologyHumboldt-UniversityBerlinGDR

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