Heart rate, arterial pressure and cardiac output were recorded in eight healthy male volunteers during exposure to 80 mmHg of lower body negative pressure (LBNP) in the supine position before and after beta-adrenergic and combined beta-adrenergic and parasympathetic blockade of the heart as induced by the i.v. administration of propranolol 0.25 mg/kg b.wt. and atropine 0.04 mg/kg b.wt. After propranolol, heart rate response to LBNP averaged 48% of that observed without blockade indicating that LBNP-induced cardioacceleration is of both sympathetic and parasympathetic origin. Tolerance to LBNP was reduced by beta-adrenergic blockade, since the decrease in mean arterial pressure during LBNP was exaggerated by such blockade. Although the addition of atropine markedly elevated mean arterial pressure and cardiac output in the control situation, tolerance to LBNP was not enhanced by this drug as judged from the arterial pressure response. Post-LBNP overshoot in mean arterial pressure was strikingly augmented by combined cardiac effector blockade and was in part due to a lingering elevation of total peripheral resistance, cardiac output remaining decreased for more than 110 s after release of LBNP.