The Ventricle pp 105-121 | Cite as

Autonomic Reflex Control of Cardiac Contractility

  • Alan M. Fujii
  • Stephen F. Vatner


Cardiovascular reflexes play a major role in the rapid, moment-to-moment circulatory response to stress. These reflex responses arise from a variety of chemoreceptors and mechanoreceptors that transmit information centrally. The efferent information is then conveyed peripherally via sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and by catecholamines and other secreted hormones to induce changes in the cardiovascular system. The goal of this chapter is to describe the effects of these neurally mediated reflexes on left ventricular function. In particular we will summarize (1) the efferent actions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, and of parasympathetic-sympathetic interactions on left ventricular function and (2) information regarding the afferent receptors and nerves that initiate the cardiovascular reflexes. In addition, since the results obtained from experiments in anesthetized animals may be difficult to interpret, due to the altered inotropic state induced by recent surgery [1, 2] and possible alteration of cardiovascular reflexes by the effects of general anesthesia [3], an emphasis is placed on information from experiments conducted in man or in conscious, chronically instrumented animals, when such data are available.


Vagal Stimulation Carotid Body Cardiac Contractility Inotropic Response Arterial Baroreceptor 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan M. Fujii
  • Stephen F. Vatner
    • 1
  1. 1.New England Regional Primate Research CenterSouthboroUSA

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