Differential reflex control of forearm and calf resistance vessels by chemosensitive cardiac afferent activation

T. N. Jacobsen, R. A. Lange, M. T. Olivari, C. W. Yancy, V. P H Horn, W. S. Ring, B. J. Baldwin, R. A. Cooley, R. G. Victor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine whether chemosensitive ventricular afferent activation in humans evokes a diffuse pattern of reflex vasodilation involving the skeletal muscle circulation of all the extremities or a highly specified pattern of vasodilation that is limited to the rather small vascular bed of the forearm. In 10 patients with innervated ventricles and 7 patients with denervated ventricles resulting from heart transplantation, we performed simultaneous plethysmographic recordings of blood flow in the forearm and calf during chemosensitive ventricular afferent activation with intracoronary Renografin. In patients with innervated ventricles, intracoronary Renografin evoked directionally opposite vascular responses in the forearm and calf: forearm resistance decreased from 50 ± 11 to 31 ± 8 units, whereas calf resistance increased from 42 ± 7 to 59 ± 9 units (P < 0.05, calf vs. forearm). Forearm vasodilation was eliminated after heart transplantation, indicating that this is a reflex response caused by ventricular afferents. In contrast, calf vasoconstriction was well preserved despite ventricular deafferentation, indicating that this response is caused by mechanisms other than ventricular afferent activation, possibly the sinoaortic baroreceptors. Taken together, these findings document a remarkable degree of specificity in the effects of cardiac afferent activation on the reflex regulation of regional vasomotor tone in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994


  • Bezold-Jarisch reflex
  • Renografin
  • heart transplant recipients
  • sinoaortic baroreflexes
  • ventricular C-fibers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential reflex control of forearm and calf resistance vessels by chemosensitive cardiac afferent activation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this