Autonomic nervous system and large conduit arteries

  • Gérard M. London
  • Michel E. Safar
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 144)


The vessels have the ability to alter their caliber and to influence the regional vascular resistance and capacitance through the modification of the neuronal discharge or changes in circulating catecholamines. Several in vitro studies demonstrated the extreme diversity of responses in the control of vascular tone of large conduit arteries and smaller resistive vessels [1], resulting from differences in the response to adrenoreceptor stimulation and antagonism between large and small arteries. Firstly, aorta and large conduit arteries which contain highly sensitive vascular smooth muscle cells have an excess of alpha1-adrenoreceptors, and are quite sensitive to adrenergic stimulation [2, 3]. Second, abrupt decrease in responsiveness to catecholamines occurs close to the roots of many aortic branches, and continue to fall-off as the arteries get smaller and further divide [4]. Finally, the sympathetic control of vascular tone of large arteries is more sensitive to alpha-adrenergic blockade, than that of smaller vessels [5].


Brachial Artery Large Artery Blood Velocity Transmural Pressure Cold Pressor Test 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bevan JA, Bevan RD. Changes in arteries as they get smaller. In: Vanhoutte PM, editor. Vasodilatation: Vascular smooth muscle, Peptides, Autonomic nerves, and Endothelium. New York: Raven Press, 1988: 55–60.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aars H. Diameter and elasticity of the ascending aorta during infusion of noradrenaline. Acta Physiol Scand 1971; 83: 133–138.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cox RH. Effects of norepinephrine on mechanics of arteries in vivo. Am J Physiol 1976; 231: 420–425.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Laher I, Bevan JA. Alpha adrenoreceptor number limits response of some rabbit arteries to norepinephrine. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1985; 233: 290–297.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Owen MP, Quinn C, Bevan JA. Phentolamine-resistant neurogenic constriction occurs in small arteries at higher frequencies. Am J Physiol 1985; 249 (Heart Circ Physiol 18]: H404–H414.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gow BS. Circulatory correlates, vascular impedance, resistance, and capacitance. In: Bohr DF et al, editors. The Cardiovascular System, Vol II. Vascular smooth muscle. Baltimore: American Physiological Society (The Williams & Wilkins Company) 1980: 353–408.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Furchgott RF, Zawadzki JV, Cherry PD. Role of endothelium in the vasodilator response to acetylcholine. In: Vanhoutte PM, Leusen I, editors. Vasodilation. New York: Raven Press, 1981: 49–66.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pohl U, Holtz J, Busse R, Bassenge E. Crucial role of endothelium in the vasodilator response to increased flow in vivo. Hypertension 1986; 8: 37–44.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Barnett GO, Mallos AJ, Shapiro A. Relationship of aortic pressure and diameter in the dog. J Appl Physiol 1961; 16: 545–548.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pieper HP, Paul LT. Responses in aortic smooth muscle studied in intact dogs. Am J Physiol 1969; 217: 154–160.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gero J, Gerova M. Sympathetic regulation of arterial distensibility. Physiol Bohemoslov 1969; 18: 480–481.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gerova M, Gero J. Range of the sympathetic control of the dog femoral artery. Circ Res 1969; 24: 349–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pagani M, Mirsky I, Baig H, Manders WY, Kerkhof P, Vatner SF. Effects of age on aortic pressure-diameter and elastic stiffness stress relationships in unanesthetized sheep. Circ Res 1979; 44; 1420–1429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hughes AD, Thorn SAM, Martin GN, et al. Size and site-dependent heterogeneity of human vascular responses in vitro. J Hypertens 1988; 6(Suppl 4]: S173–S175.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dobrin PB, Rovick AA. Influence of vascular smooth muscle on contractile mechanics and elasticity of arteries. Am J Physiol 1969; 217: 1644–1651.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gow BS. The influence of vascular smooth muscle on the viscoelastic properties of blood vessels. In: Bergel DH, editor. Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics. New York: Academic Press 1972 Vol II: 65–110.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    McDonald DA. Blood Flow in Arteries. London: Arnold, 1974.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dobrin PB. Mechanical properties of arteries. Physiol Rev 1978; 58: 397–460.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gerova M, Gero J, Dolezel S, Blazkova-Huzulakova I. Sympathetic control of canine abdominal aorta. Circ Res 1973; 33: 149–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Aars H. Effects of altered smooth muscle tone on aortic diameter and aortic baroreceptor activity in anesthetised rabbits. Circ Res 1971; 28: 254–262.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Keatinge WR. Electrical and mechanical response of arteries to stimulation of sympathetic nerves. J Physiol London 1966; 185: 701–715.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cox RH: Mechanics of canine iliac artery smooth muscle in vitro. Am J Physiol 1976; 230: 462–470.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    O’Rourke MF: Arterial function in health and disease. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1982: 116–135.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Peterson LH, Jensen RE, Parnell R. Mechanical properties of arteries in vivo. Circ Res 1960; 8: 622–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bagshaw RJ, Peterson LH. Sympathetic control of the mechanical properties of the canine carotid sinus. Am J Physiol 1972, 222: 1462–2148.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dobrin PB. Vascular mechanics. In: Shepherd JT, Abboud FM, editors. The Cardiovascular system, Peripheral circulation and organ blood flow. Bethesda: American Physiological Society, Williams & Wilkins Company, 1983: 65–102.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cox RH, Fronek A, Peterson LH. Effects of carotid hypotension on aortic hemodynamics in the unanesthetized dog. Am J Physiol 1975; 229: 1376–1380.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cox RH, Bagshaw RJ. Baroreceptor reflex control of arterial hemodynamics in the dog. Circ Res 1975: 37: 772–786.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Timmermans PMBWM, Van Zwieten PA. Alpha-adrenoreceptors antagonists. In: Van Zwieten PA, editors. Handbook of hypertension, Vol. 3, Pharmacology of antihypertensive drugs. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1984: 239–248.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fitzgerald JD. Beta-adrenoreceptors antagonists. In: Van Zwieten PA, editor. Handbook of Hypertension, Vol. 3, Pharmacology of antihypertensive drugs. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1984: 249–306.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kiowski W, Hulthen UL, Ritz R, Bühler FR. Alpha2 adrenoreceptor mediated vasoconstriction in human arterial vessels. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1983; 34: 565–569.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jie K, Van Brummelen P, Vermey P, Timmermans PBMWM, Van Zwieten PA-Effects of exogenous adrenaline and noradrenaline on vascular post-synaptic alpha1 and alpha2 adrenoreceptors in man. J Hypertens 1984; 2(Suppl 3): 119–121.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Safar M, Peronneau J, Levenson J, Simon A. Pulsed Doppler: diameter velocity and flow of brachial artery in sustained essential hypertension. Circulation 1981, 63: 393–400.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Laurent S, Juillerat L, London GM, Nussberger J, Brunner H, Safar ME. Increased response of brachial artery diameter to norepinephrine in hypertensive patients. Am J Physiol 1988; 255: H36–H43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Laurent S, Lacolley P, Brunnel P, Safar M. Effects of short-lasting mental stress on systemic and brachial hemodynamics in essential hypertension. Circulation 1988; 78(Suppl IV): IV175.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Safar ME, Daou JE, Safavian A, London GM. Comparison of forearm plethysmographic methods with brachial artery Doppler flowmetry in man. Clin Physiol 1988; 8: 163–170.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Laurent S, Brunei P, Lacolley P, Billaud E, Pannier B, Safar M: Flow-dependent vasodil-ation of the brachial artery in essential hypertension: preliminary report. J Hypertension 1988; 6(Suppl 4): S182–S184.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    London GM, Pannier BP, Laurent S, Lacolley P, Safar ME. Brachial artery diameter changes associated with Cardiopulmonary baroreflex activation in humans. Am J Physiol 1990; 258 (Heart Circ. Physiol. 27): H773–H777.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Anderson EA, Mark AL. Flow-mediated and reflex changes in large peripheral artery tone in humans. Circulation 1989; 79: 93–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Safar ME, London GM, Asmar RG, Huges CJ, Laurent SA. An indirect approach for the study of the elastic modulus of the brachial artery in patients with essential hypertension. Cardiovasc Res 1986; 20: 563–567.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hoeks APG, Brands PJ, Smeets FAM, Reneman RS. Assessment of the distensibility of superficial arteries. Ultrasound Med Biol 1990; 16: 121–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Hayoz D, Rutchsmann B, Perret F, et al. Conduit arteries compliance and distensibility are not necessarily reduced in hypertension. Hypertension 1992; 20: 1–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Madkour A, Levenson J, Bravo EL, Simon A, Fouad-Tarazi FM. Preload, adrenergic activity, and aortic compliance in normal and hypertensive patients. Am Heart J 1989; 118: 1243–1247.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    London GM, Levenson JA, Safar ME, Simon AC, Guerin AP, Payen D. Hemodynamic effects of head-down tilt in normal subjects and sustained hypertensive patients. Am J Physiol 1983; 245: H194–H202.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Roddie IC, Shepherd JT, Whelan RF. Reflex changes in vasoconstrictor tone in human skeletal muscle in response to stimulation of receptors in low-pressure area of the intrathor-acic vascular bed. J Physiol (London) 1957; 139: 369–376.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Rubanyi GM, Romero JC, Van Houtte PM. Flow-induced release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor. Am J Physiol 1986; 250 (Heart Circ Physiol): H1145–H1149.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Mark AL, Kerber RE. Augmentation of cardiopulmonary baroreflex control of forearm vascular resistance in borderline hypertension. Hypertension 1982; 4: 39–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Levenson J, Simon ACh, Bouthier JD, Benetos A, Safar ME. Post-synaptic alpha-blockade and brachial artery compliance in essential hypertension. J Hypertens 1984; 2: 37–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Falkner B: Reactivity to mental stress in hypertension and prehypertension. In: Julius S, Bassetts DR, eds. Handbook of hypertension, Vol. 9, Behavioral factors in hypertension. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1987: 95–122.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Safar ME, Laurent S, Pannier B, Younsi FE, London GM. Arterial compliance and autonomic nervous system in hypertension. Curr Opinion Cardiol 1989; 4(Suppl 4): S23–S28.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Lacolley P, Boutouyrie P, Gired X, Beck L, Safar M, Laurent S. Sympathetic activation decreases arterial compliance through a direct effect on the arterial wall, (submitted for publication).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gérard M. London
  • Michel E. Safar

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations