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Central venous pressure and mean circulatory filling pressure in the dogfish Squalus acanthias: adrenergic control and role of the pericardium

Journal article
Authors Erik Sandblom
Michael Axelsson
A. P. Farrell
Published in American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume 291
Issue 5
Pages R1465-R1473
ISSN 0363-6119
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Zoology
Pages R1465-R1473
Language en
Keywords elasmobranch, pulse pressure, venous capacitance, trout oncorhynchus-mykiss, rainbow-trout, vascular capacitance, cardiac-function, cardiovascular function, scyliorhinus-canicula, triakis-semifasciata, baroreceptor control, blood-pressure, leopard shark
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Central venous pressure and mean circulatory filling pressure in the dogfish Squalus acanthias: adrenergic control and role of the pericardium. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 291: R1465-R1473, 2006. First published July 6, 2006; doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00282.2006.-Subambient central venous pressure (P-ven) and modulation of venous return through cardiac suction (vis a fronte) characterizes the venous circulation in sharks. Venous capacitance was estimated in the dogfish Squalus acanthias by measuring the mean circulatory filling pressure (MCFP) during transient occlusion of cardiac outflow. We tested the hypothesis that venous return and cardiac preload can be altered additionally through adrenergic changes of venous capacitance. The experiments involved the surgical opening of the pericardium to place a perivascular occluder around the conus arteriosus. Another control group was identically instrumented, but lacked the occluder, and was subjected to the same pharmacological protocol to evaluate how pericardioectomy affected cardiovascular status. Routine P-ven was negative (-0.08 +/- 0.02 kPa) in control fish but positive (0.09 +/- 0.01 kPa) in the pericardioectomized group. Injections of 5 mu g/kg body mass (M-b) of epinephrine and phenylephrine (100 mu g/kg M-b) increased P-ven and MCFP, whereas isoproterenol (1 mu g/kg M-b) decreased both variables. Thus, constriction and relaxation of the venous vasculature were mediated through the respective stimulation of alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors. alpha-Adrenergic blockade with prazosin (1 mg/kg M-b) attenuated the responses to phenylephrine and decreased resting Pven in pericardioectomized animals. Our results provide convincing evidence for adrenergic control of the venous vasculature in elasmobranchs, although the pericardium is clearly an important component in the modulation of venous function. Thus active changes in venous capacitance have previously been underestimated as an important means of modulating venous return and cardiac performance in this group.

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