Effects of neuropeptide Y on baroreflex control of heart rate and myocardial contractility in conscious rabbits

R. B. Minson, R. J. McRitchie, J. P. Chalmers

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    1. The effects of intravenous (i.v.) neuropeptide Y (NPY, 10 μg/kg bolus) on the stimulus‐response curves relating changes in heart period (HP) and in peak left ventricular (LV) dP/dt to acute changes in mean arterial pressure (MAP) were determined in conscious, normotensive rabbits. 2. The relationship between increases and decreases in MAP and the subsequent changes in HP were represented by a sigmoid‐shaped curve described by a logistic function. Following NPY administration there was a baroreflex‐dependent increase in the maximum slope (sensitivity) at the midpoint of this MAP‐HP curve from 7.0 ± 0.5 to 10.6 ± 1.3 ms/mmHg (P<0.05). NPY caused an upward shift in the whole curve which reflected the NPY‐induced bradycardia and was independent of baroreflexes. 3. The relationship between increases in MAP and decreases in peak LV dP/dt was determined during fixed‐rate atrial pacing to prevent the effects of the accompanying bradycardia. Increases in MAP and the corresponding reductions in peak LV dP/dt were represented by an exponential function. The slope of the curve, measured at its origin 5–15 min after NPY administration, was reduced from −0.9 ± 0.2 to −0.4 ± 0.1 units (P<0.05). 4. The effects of NPY are consistent with an action on efferent connections of the arterial baroreceptor reflex, mediated through a reduction in cardiac β‐adrenergic tone. They would also be explained through actions on the afferent or central neural connections of the baroreflex.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-49
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1990


    • arterial pressure
    • autonomic effectors
    • baroreflexes
    • conscious rabbit
    • heart rate
    • myocardial contractility
    • neuropeptide Y
    • sympathetic nervous system


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