Baroreflexes in Hypertension

  • Paul I. Korner
  • Geoffrey A. Head


This chapter considers the effects of hypertension on the properties of baroreceptor-mediated sympathetic constrictor and heart rate reflexes in intact animals and humans, and some of the mechanisms that bring about these changes. The term “baroreceptor reflex” is often used with the implicit assumption that the arterial baroreceptors are either the sole, or by far the most, important afferent input. However, in the intact animal, all reflexes elicited through arterial pressure changes are compound reflexes, in which the afferent drive comes from arterial and several groups of nonarterial baroreceptors. This is because in intact animals changes in arterial pressure are always accompanied by alterations in pressure in other circulatory regions, including the heart chambers and pulmonary circulation (Guyton, 1963). The cardiopulmonary region is the source of the most important nonarterial pressure-sensitive receptors (Paintal, 1973; Thorén, 1979; Coleridge and Coleridge, 1980; Thorén, 1986). Some of these receptors play a role in baroreflex responses of normal animals, whereas others are important determinants of the characteristic changes in the reflex properties in chronic hypertension.


Mean Arterial Pressure Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Heart Period Renal Sympathetic Nerve Activity Arterial Baroreceptor 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul I. Korner
  • Geoffrey A. Head

There are no affiliations available

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