Baroreflex control of heart rate in rats with heart failure after myocardial infarction: Effects of captopril

C. C. Deck, T. E. Raya, M. A. Gaballa, S. Goldman

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17 Scopus citations


Activation of the renin-angiotensin and sympathetic nervous systems in heart failure may result in altered baroreflex control of heart rate. To determine the specific effects of treatment with captopril on baroreceptor dysfunction in heart failure, baroreflex control of heart rate was measured in conscious rats with heart failure 6 weeks after ligation of the left coronary artery. Plasma norepinephrine was measured as a reflection of sympathetic nervous system activity. After bolus injections of phenylephrine (2-50 μg/kg) and nitroprusside (2-50 μg/kg), the arterial baroreflex was analyzed by fitting percentage of mean arterial pressure changes and heart rate changes to a logistic regression function. There were no differences in baroreflex function between normal and sham-operated rats. Plasma norepinephrine was increased (P < .05) in the heart-failure rats and did not change with captopril treatment. In untreated rats, heart failure increased (P < .05) the centering point by 900%, threshold by 243% and saturation by 89%, whereas decreasing (P < .05) the operational point by 73%. There was a decrease (P < .05) in the nitroprusside-related gain and an increase (P < .05) in phenylephrine-related gain, but the overall baroreflex gain was not changed. In heart-failure rats, captopril increased (P < .05) threshold, saturation and centering point and decreased (P < .05) operational point and nitroprusside- and phenylephrine-related gain abnormalities. The increase in operational point and decreases in threshold, saturation, centering point and phenylephrine-related gain were the results of a specific interactive effect of captopril in heart failure (P = .0033, .0176, .0509, .0217 and .0567, respectively). Thus, in rats with heart failure baroreflex control of heart rate was altered, without a change in overall baroreflex gain. Treatment with captopril improved baroreflex control of heart rate. The effects of captopril were independent of changes in plasma norepinephrine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1424-1431
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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