Catecholamine-induced changes in vascular capacitance and sympathetic nerve activity in dogs

H. Arimura, Z. J. Bosnjak, S. Hoka, J. P. Kampine

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of three catecholamines, dopamine, epinephrine, and dobutamine, on the systemic circulation, especially on systemic vascular capacitance, were studied using cardiopulmonary bypass in dogs anesthetized with pentobarbital. Venous outflow was divided into three compartments: splanchnic, renal, and other; changes in systemic blood volume (SBV) were calculated from the changes in total venous outflow. To examine the contribution of sympathetic discharge to these vascular responses, sympathetic efferent nerve activity (SENA) from the ventral ansa subclavian nerve was recorded simultaneously. Experiments were done under three conditions: control, after baroreceptor deafferentation, and after hexamethonium injection with low and high doses of each catecholamine. During control and after baroreceptor deafferentation, dopamine- and epinephrine-induced changes in SBV were less than those after hexamethonium, and not significant except with low dose epinephrine. After hexamethonium, dopamine (200 μg/kg), epinephrine (10 μg/kg), and dobutamine (100 μg/kg) reduced SBV by 10.6 ± 3.4, 13.1 ± 1.7, and 1.9 ± 0.3 mL/kg, respectively. Splanchnic outflow increased significantly with dopamine and epinephrine after hexamethonium. High dose dopamine and epinephrine significantly suppressed SENA to 38 ± 9 and 15 ± 6% of baseline, respectively. Low dose dopamine decreased arterial pressure and SENA. This suppression in SENA was attenuated but still observed after baroreceptor deafferentation. Dobutamine reduced SBV, but had no effect on SENA. These results suggest that dopamine and epinephrine primarily decrease SBV by venoconstriction in the splanchnic region, however, these effects are greatly modified by basal sympathetic discharge and changes in SENA and vascular tone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1031
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian journal of physiology and pharmacology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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